You have not shed your blood (Heb 12:4)

“In your struggle

Against sin

You have not yet


To the point

Of shedding

Your own blood.”

Οὔπω μέχρις αἵματος ἀντικατέστητε πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι,

This author said, “In your struggle (ἀντικατέστητε) against sin (πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν) you have not yet (Οὔπω) resisted (ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι) to the point of shedding your own blood (μέχρις αἵματος).”  This author used words that only appear here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word ἀντικατέστητε, that means to set down against, to replace, oppose, or resist and the word ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι that means to struggle against, resist, or strive against.  This author implied that so far, these Jewish Christian readers had not shed any blood in their resistance to sin.  Surely, they had struggled against sinning.  However, they were not dying over it the way that Jesus Christ had done on the cross.  How much blood have you shed to avoid sins?

Do not grow weary! (Heb 12:3)

“Consider Jesus,

Who endured such hostility

Against himself

From sinners,

So that you may not

Grow weary

Or lose heart

And soul.”

ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ τὸν τοιαύτην ὑπομεμενηκότα ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἀντιλογίαν, ἵνα μὴ κάμητε ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν ἐκλυόμενοι.

This author said, “Consider (ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ) Jesus (γὰρ τὸν τοιαύτην) who endured (ὑπομεμενηκότα) such hostility (ἀντιλογίαν) against himself (εἰς ἑαυτὸν) from sinners (ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν), so that you may not grow weary (ἵνα μὴ κάμητε) or lose heart (ἐκλυόμενοι) and soul (ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν).”  This author used a word that only appears here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word ἀναλογίσασθε, that means to consider, think upon, or consider attentively.  This author indicated that Jesus Christ should be their model.  They ought to consider how much hostility that he endured from the very sinners he was trying to save.  Thus, they should not grow weary in troubled times.  He hoped that their heart and soul would hold up and not grow weary and faint.  The example of the sufferings of Jesus should be enough to carry them through whatever troubles they were enduring.  How has the suffering of Jesus Christ influenced your life?

Look to Jesus! (Heb 12:2)

“Let us

Look to Jesus,

The originator

And perfector

Of our faith.

For the sake

Of the joy

That was set before him

He endured

The cross,

Disregarding its shame.

He has taken his seat

At the right hand

At the throne of God.”

ἀφορῶντες εἰς τὸν τῆς πίστεως ἀρχηγὸν καὶ τελειωτὴν Ἰησοῦν, ὃς ἀντὶ τῆς προκειμένης αὐτῷ χαρᾶς ὑπέμεινεν σταυρὸν αἰσχύνης καταφρονήσας, ἐν δεξιᾷ τε τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ Θεοῦ κεκάθικεν.

This author said, “Let us look (ἀφορῶντες) to Jesus (Ἰησοῦν), the originator (ἀρχηγὸν) and perfector (καὶ τελειωτὴν) of our faith (εἰς τὸν τῆς πίστεως).  For the sake (ὃς ἀντὶ) of the joy (χαρᾶς) that was set before (τῆς προκειμένης) him (αὐτῷ), he endured (ὑπέμεινεν) the cross (σταυρὸν), disregarding (καταφρονήσας) its shame (αἰσχύνης).  He has taken his seat (κεκάθικεν) at the right hand (ἐν δεξιᾷ τε) at the throne (τοῦ θρόνου) of God (τοῦ Θεοῦ).”  This author used a word that only appears here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word τελειωτὴν, that means a completer, finisher, or perfecter.  This author turned to Jesus, who was the origin and the completion of our faith.  For the sake of eternal joy, Jesus Christ endured death on the cross as he despised its shame.  Now he has taken a seat at the right hand at the throne of God the Father.  This was another allusion to Psalm 110:1, “Yahweh says to my lord.  ‘Sit at my right hand.’”  This author pointed out that Jesus Christ was both the source and the summit of Christian belief.  Despite his shameful death on the cross, Jesus has obtained his rightful place in heaven.  Do you see Jesus as the source and completion of your Christian faith?

Let us run with perseverance (Heb 12:1)


Since we are surrounded

By so great a cloud

Of witnesses,

Let us also lay aside

Every weight

And sin

That clings

So closely.

Let us run

With perseverance

The race course

That is set before us.”

Τοιγαροῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς, τοσοῦτον ἔχοντες περικείμενον ἡμῖν νέφος μαρτύρων, ὄγκον ἀποθέμενοι πάντα καὶ τὴν εὐπερίστατον ἁμαρτίαν, δι’ ὑπομονῆς τρέχωμεν τὸν προκείμενον ἡμῖν ἀγῶνα,

This author said, “Therefore (Τοιγαροῦν), since we (καὶ ἡμεῖς) are surrounded (περικείμενον ἡμῖν) by so great (τοσοῦτον ἔχοντες) a cloud (νέφος) of witnesses (μαρτύρων), let us also lay aside (ἀποθέμενοι) every (πάντα) weight (ὄγκον) and sin (ἁμαρτίαν) that clings so closely (καὶ τὴν εὐπερίστατον).  Let us run (τρέχωμεν) with perseverance (δι’ ὑπομονῆς) the race course (ἀγῶνα) that is set before us (τὸν προκείμενον ἡμῖν).”  This author used three words that only appear here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word νέφος, that means a mass of clouds, a cloud, a dense crowd, a multitude, or a great company, and the word ὄγκον, that means bulk, an encumbrance, a weight, or a burden, as well as the word εὐπερίστατον, that means easily encircling, easily surrounding, or easily distracted.  This author now turned to his readers, the Jewish followers of Jesus Christ.  They were living before a great crowd of clouds or people.  They would have to give witness or be martyrs for their belief.  They had to lay aside all the cumbersome weight of sins that clung all around them.  They had to run with perseverance the race course that had been set before them, since they did not choose the race course.  Sin was an engulfing burden that they had to rid themselves of.  As Paul had pointed out in his letters, 1 Corinthians, chapter 9:24-27, Galatians, chapter 2:2, Philippians, chapter 2:16, and 2 Timothy, chapter 4:7, the new Christian life was a long-distance race that had to be run with endurance, not a short sprint.  Are you willing to run the marathon of a Christian life?

They were not perfect (Heb 11:40)

“God had provided

Something better,

So that they would not,

Apart from us,

Be made perfect.”

Who has given

A gift to God

To receive

A gift in return?”

τοῦ Θεοῦ περὶ ἡμῶν κρεῖττόν τι προβλεψαμένου, ἵνα μὴ χωρὶς ἡμῶν τελειωθῶσιν.

This author said, “God (τοῦ Θεοῦ) had provided (προβλεψαμένου) something better (περὶ ἡμῶν κρεῖττόν τι), so that they would not (ἵνα μὴ), apart from us (χωρὶς ἡμῶν), be made perfect (τελειωθῶσιν).”  This author used a word that only appears here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word προβλεψαμένου, that means to foresee or provide.  He indicated that God had provided something better for us, the coming of Jesus Christ.  Thus, all these great Israelite men of faith were not made perfect.  However, we, because of the appearance of Jesus Christ, were capable of being made perfect.  This author pointed out that the Jewish Christians of his day were the lucky ones, capable of being made perfect through Jesus Christ.  Are you capable of being made perfect in Jesus Christ?

They did not receive the promise (Heb 11:39)

“Yet all these people,

Though they were commended

For their faith,

Did not receive

What was promised.”

Καὶ οὗτοι πάντες μαρτυρηθέντες διὰ τῆς πίστεως οὐκ ἐκομίσαντο τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν,

This author said, “Yet all these people (Καὶ οὗτοι πάντες), though they were commended (μαρτυρηθέντες) for their faith (διὰ τῆς πίστεως), did not receive (οὐκ ἐκομίσαντο) what was promised (τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν).”  He pointed out that all these great believers in God were commended and witnessed their great faith.  However, none of them received the promise of eternal life.  They still waited for the Messiah to come to save them.  Will you receive the promise of eternal life?

They wandered around (Heb 11:38)

“The world

Did not consider them


They wandered

In deserts


In caves,

And holes

In the ground.”

ὧν οὐκ ἦν ἄξιος ὁ κόσμος, ἐπὶ ἐρημίαις πλανώμενοι καὶ ὄρεσιν καὶ σπηλαίοις καὶ ταῖς ὀπαῖς τῆς γῆς.

This author said, “The world (ὁ κόσμος) did not consider them worthy (ὧν οὐκ ἦν ἄξιος).  They wandered (πλανώμενοι) in deserts (ἐπὶ ἐρημίαις), mountains (καὶ ὄρεσιν), in caves (καὶ σπηλαίοις), and holes (καὶ ταῖς ὀπαῖς) in the ground (τῆς γῆς).”  This appears to be a description of the various Jewish prophets.  A lot of them were not considered of any value.  Many Jewish prophecies were ignored.  These holy prophets wandered in deserts, mountains, and caves.  Some even dug holes and lived in the ground or underground.  Generally, the Israelite prophets were considered to be suffering odd people, despite their strong faith in God.  What do you think about the ancient Jewish prophets?

They were killed (Heb 11:37)

“They were stoned

To death.

They were sawn

In two.

They were killed

By the slaughtering sword.

They wandered about

In skins

Of sheep

And goats,



And tormented.”

ἐλιθάσθησαν, ἐπειράσθησαν, ἐπρίσθησαν, ἐν φόνῳ μαχαίρης ἀπέθανον, περιῆλθον ἐν μηλωταῖς, ἐν αἰγείοις δέρμασιν, ὑστερούμενοι, θλιβόμενοι, κακουχούμενοι,

This author said, “They were stoned to death (ἐλιθάσθησαν).  They were sawn in two (ἐπειράσθησαν).  They were killed (ἀπέθανον) by the slaughtering sword (ἐν φόνῳ μαχαίρης).  They wandered about (περιῆλθον) in skins (δέρμασιν) of sheep (ἐν μηλωταῖς) and goats (ἐν αἰγείοις), destitute (ὑστερούμενοι), persecuted (θλιβόμενοι), and tormented (κακουχούμενοι).”  This author used a series of words that only appear here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word ἐπειράσθησαν, that means to saw in two or saw through, and the word μηλωταῖς, that means a sheepskin or a sheep’s hide, as well as the word αἰγείοις, that means of a goat, and the word δέρμασιν, that means the skin or hide of an animal, and finally the word κακουχούμενοι, that means to ill-treat, hurt, or torment.  This author further elaborated about the various problems that the Jewish people had suffered in their history.  Some were stoned to death.  Others were sawed into two pieces, while others died by the sword.  At the same time, there had been periods of deprivation, so that people went about in sheep and goat skins.  They were destitute, persecuted, and tortured.  This was not a pretty picture of Jewish history.  They, especially the prophets, suffered all this out of faith in God.  Faith meant that you had to suffer for God.  Are you willing to suffer for God?

Others suffered (Heb 11:36)

“Others suffered

Trials with


And flogging,

Even in chains

And imprisonment.”

ἕτεροι δὲ ἐμπαιγμῶν καὶ μαστίγων πεῖραν ἔλαβον, ἔτι δὲ δεσμῶν καὶ φυλακῆς·

This author said, “Others (ἕτεροι δὲ) suffered (ἔλαβον) trials (πεῖραν) with mocking (ἐμπαιγμῶν) and flogging (καὶ μαστίγων), even in chains (ἔτι δὲ δεσμῶν) and imprisonment (καὶ φυλακῆς).”  This author used words that only appear here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word ἐμπαιγμῶν, that means mockery, scoffing, or scorn, and the word πεῖραν, that means a trial, an experiment, or an attempt.  This author pointed out that many Jewish people had suffered, being mocked and beat up.  They were put in chains and prison.  This would have happened to some of the Jewish prophets and the captured Israelite soldiers.  Do you think that holy men and soldiers are mistreated?

The hope of resurrection (Heb 11:35)

“Woman received

Their dead

By resurrection.

Others were tortured,


To accept release,

In order to obtain

A better resurrection.”

ἔλαβον γυναῖκες ἐξ ἀναστάσεως τοὺς νεκροὺς αὐτῶν· ἄλλοι δὲ ἐτυμπανίσθησαν, οὐ προσδεξάμενοι τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, ἵνα κρείττονος ἀναστάσεως τύχωσιν

This author said, “Woman (γυναῖκες) received (ἔλαβον) their dead (τοὺς νεκροὺς αὐτῶν) by resurrection (ἐξ ἀναστάσεως).  Others (ἄλλοι δὲ) were tortured (ἐτυμπανίσθησαν), refusing to accept (οὐ προσδεξάμενοι) release (τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν), in order (ἵνα) to obtain (τύχωσιν) a better resurrection (κρείττονος ἀναστάσεως).”  This author used a word that only appears here in this canonical Greek NT writing to the Hebrews, the word ἐτυμπανίσθησαν, that means to beat a drum, to torture by beating, or beat to death.  This author implied that many women got their fallen men, husbands and sons, returned to them dead but with the hope of a resurrection.  Other Israelites were tortured, as they refused to accept release from these foreign leaders.  They hoped to attain a better resurrection in eternal life.  In other words, many Jewish Israelite men had died on the battlefield, only to come home as corpses with a hope of a resurrection.  Many others were tortured.  Others even refused to be released.  They wanted to be martyrs for their country in the hope of a better eternal resurrection.  There had been many great Jewish warriors for their Israelite country.  They did all this because they had faith in God.  Would you fight because of your religious belief?