Heb 12:18-24 What mountain is referred to in Heb 12:18, and what historical event is the author describing in Heb 12:18-21? See Ex 19:11-22, 20:18-20, Dt 4:10-13, 5:2-5, 22-27. With what 7 expressions does he describe the giving of the old covenant that would “fade away” (2 Cor 3:11) because it was “only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things” (Heb 10:1)? What do these 7 expressions communicate about the seriousness of that event, and what were they to impress upon the people? See Heb 12:21 and again Ex 20:20, Dt 4:10-13. What event does the author describe in Heb 12:22-24 in parallel to the giving of the old covenant he has just described in Heb 12:18-21? With what 10 expressions does he describe the promised new covenant that had now come and would not fade away because it is the very form and substance of things? In what ways does the description in Heb 12:22-24 contrast with the description in Heb 12:18-21? How does that compare with Paul’s contrast of the two covenants in 2 Cor 3:6-11? How are the terms of the old covenant (the “law of commandments contained in ordinances”, Eph 2:15) and the terms of the new covenant (to walk in love, Rom 13:8-10) reflected in the differing descriptions of the two covenants in this passage? See 1 Jn 4:18. Note: “general assembly” has the connotation of an appointed festal assembly such as those when the people of Israel gathered together during the annual feasts; cf. Hos 2:11, 9:5, and Amos 5:21. What is the meaning of “the church of the first-born”? Cf. the context of Esau in Heb 12:16-17, and see Ex 4:22, James 1:18, Rev 14:4. What is the significance that they are “enrolled in heaven”? Cf. Luke 2:3,5 for the only other NT occurrence of the word used here which has to do with registering one’s citizenship. Who are the “spirits of righteous men made perfect”? See Heb 11:40. What is the significance of “spirits”? See 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:21-23, 1 Thess 4:13-17, Rev 6:9-11, 20:4-6.
Heb 12:25-29 Are the consequences for covenant disobedience less, or more, under the new covenant than under the old? What does Heb 12:25 teach us about the greater responsibility that comes with the greater revelation and better things of the new covenant? See Heb 10:28-29. To what does the author refer in Heb 12:26 when he says “His voice shook the earth then”? See Ex 19:18. What is the counterpart for the new covenant of the physical earthquakes that inaugurated the old covenant? See Heb 12:26, Mat 24:29, Lk 21:25-26, Rev 6:13. What is the purpose of such spiritual shaking? See Heb 12:27. What happens to those things that can be shaken? What happens to those things that cannot be shaken? Cf. Lk 6:47-49, Mat 13:40-43. What alone is not capable of being shaken even by such trials as were facing the original recipients of this letter? See Heb 12:28. What conclusion does the author draw for his readers in light of the kingdom of Christ that cannot be shaken? By what means are we able to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (KJV)? Note: NASB “show gratitude” = KJV “have grace”. Why is it important that we do so and not drift away from the hope of our faith because of the trials that confront us? See Heb 12:29; cf. Heb 10:27.