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Hebrews 12:15

    Hebrews 12:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you , and thereby the many be defiled;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Looking with care to see that no man among you in his behaviour comes short of the grace of God; for fear that some bitter root may come up to be a trouble to you, and that some of you may be made unclean by it;

    Webster's Revision

    looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you , and thereby the many be defiled;

    World English Bible

    looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled;

    Definitions for Hebrews 12:15

    Grace - Kindness; favor.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 12:15

    Looking diligently - Επισκοπουντες· Looking about, over, and upon; being constantly on your guard.

    Lest any man fail of the grace of God - Μη τις ὑστερων απο της χαριτος του Θεου· Lest any person should come behind, or fall off from, this grace or Gift of God; this state of salvation, viz. the Gospel system or Christianity; for this is most evidently the meaning of the apostle. It is not the falling from a work of grace in their own souls, but from the Gospel, to apostatize from which they had now many temptations; and to guard them against this, the whole epistle was written.

    Lest any root of bitterness springing up - A root of bitterness signifies a poisonous plant. The Hebrews call every species of poison a bitter, and with considerable propriety, as most plants are poisonous in proportion to the quantum of the bitter principle they possess. The root of bitterness is here used metaphorically for a bad man, or a man holding unsound doctrines, and endeavoring to spread them in the Church.

    Trouble you - This alludes to the effects of poison taken into the body: the whole animal system is disturbed, sometimes violent retchings, great disturbances through the whole alimentary canal, together with the most fatal changes in the whole sanguineous system, are the consequences of poison taken into the stomach. The blood itself (the principle, under God, of life) becomes putrescent; and probably to this the intelligent apostle alludes when he says, and thereby many be defiled, μιανθωσι, corrupted or contaminated.

    Bad example and false teaching have corrupted thousands, and are still making desolation in the world and in the Church.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 12:15

    Looking diligently - This phrase implies close attention. It is implied that there are reasons why we should take special care. Those reasons are found in the propensities of our hearts to evil; in the temptations of the world; in the allurements to apostasy presented by the great adversary of our souls.

    Lest any man fail - As every man is in danger, it is his personal duty to see to it that his salvation be secure.

    Fail of the grace of God - Margin, "fail from." The Greek is, "lest any one be wanting or lacking" - ὑστερῶν husterōn. There is no intimation in the words used here that they already had grace and might fall away - whatever might he true about that - but that there was danger that they might be found at last to be deficient in that religion which was necessary to save them. Whether this was to be by losing the religion which they now had, or by the fact that they never had any however near they may have come to it - the apostle does not here intimate, and this passage should not be used in the discussion of the question about failing from grace. It is a proper exhortation to be addressed to any man in the church or out of it, to inquire diligently whether there is not reason to apprehend that when he comes to appear before God he will be found to be wholly destitute of religion.

    Lest any root of bitterness springing up - Any bitter root. There is doubtless an allusion here to Deuteronomy 29:18. "Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood." The allusion there is to those who were idolaters, and who instead of bearing the fruits of righteousness, and promoting the piety and happiness of the nation, would bear the fruits of idolatry, and spread abroad irreligion and sin. The allusion, in both cases, is to a bitter plant springing up among those that were cultivated for ornament or use, or to a tree bearing bitter and poisonous fruit, among those that produced good fruit. The reference of the apostle is to some person who should produce a similar effect in the church - to one who should inculcate false doctrines; or who should apostatize; or who should lead an unholy life, and thus be the means of corrupting and destroying others. They were to be at especial pains that no such person should start up from among themselves, or be tolerated by them.

    Trouble you - By his doctrines and example.

    And thereby many be defiled - Led away from the faith and corrupted. One wicked man, and especially one hypocrite in the church, may be the means of destroying many others.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 12:15

    12:15 Looking diligently, lest any one - If he do not lift up the hands that hang down. Fall from the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness - Of envy, anger, suspicion. Springing up - Destroy the sweet peace; lest any, not following after holiness, fall into fornication or profaneness. In general, any corruption, either in doctrine or practice, is a root of bitterness, and may pollute many.

    Verses Related to Hebrews 12:15

    Job 10:1 - My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
    1 Samuel 30:6 - And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
    James 3:14 - But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.