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Hebrews 12:21

    Hebrews 12:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the vision was so overpowering that even Moses said, I am shaking and full of fear.

    Webster's Revision

    and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

    World English Bible

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

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 12:21

    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!

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 12:21

    12:21 Even Moses - Though admitted to so near an intercourse with God, who spake to him as a man speaketh to his friend. At other times he acted as a mediator between God and the people. But while the ten words were pronounced, he stood as one of the hearers, Ex 19:25; Ex 20:19.