Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Hebrews 12:9

    Hebrews 12:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And again, if the fathers of our flesh gave us punishment and had our respect, how much more will we be under the authority of the Father of spirits, and have life?

    Webster's Revision

    Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    World English Bible

    Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    Definitions for Hebrews 12:9

    Reverence - To show respect or fear.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 12:9

    We have had fathers of our flesh - The fathers of our flesh, i.e. our natural parents, were correctors; and we reverenced them, notwithstanding their corrections often arose from whim or caprice: but shall we not rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits; to him from whom we have received both body and soul; who is our Creator, Preserver, and Supporter; to whom both we and our parents owe our life and our blessings; and who corrects us only for our profit; that we may live and be partakers of his holiness? The apostle in asking, Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? alludes to the punishment of the stubborn and rebellious son, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 : "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and mother lay hold on him and bring him to the elders of the city, and they shall say, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice: and all the men of the city shall stone him with stones that he Die." Had he been subject to his earthly parents, he would have lived; because not subject, he dies. If we be subject to our heavenly Father, we shall Live, and be partakers of his holiness; if not, we shall Die, and be treated as bastards and not sons. This is the sum of the apostle's meaning; and the fact and the law to which he alludes.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 12:9

    Furthermore - As an additional consideration to induce us to receive chastisement with submission. The argument in this verse is derived from the difference in the spirit and design with which we are corrected by God and by an earthly parent. In God everything is without any intermingling of passion or any improper feeling. In an earthly parent there is often much that is the result of hasty emotion, of an irascible temper, perhaps of the mere love of power. There is much that is inflicted without due reflection, and that produces only pain in the bosom of the parent himself in the recollection. Yet with all this imperfection of parental government, we were patient and unmurmuring. How much more should we submit to one whose paternal discipline is caused by no excited feeling; by no love of power; by no want of reflection, and which never furnishes occasion for regret!

    Fathers of our flesh - Earthly fathers; those from whom we have derived our being here. They are contrasted here with God, who is called "the Father of spirits," not because the father does not sustain the paternal relation to the soul as well as the body, but to designate the nature of the dominion over us. The dominion of God is what pertains to a spiritual kingdom, having more direct reference to the discipline of the soul, and being designed to prepare us for the spiritual world; that of the earthly father pertains primarily to our condition here, and the discipline is designed to subdue our unruly passions, to teach us to restrain our appetites, to inculcate maxims of health and prosperity, and to prevent those things which would impede our happiness in the present world. See, however, many curious instances of the manner in which these phrases were used by the Jewish writers, collected by Wetstein.

    We gave them reverence - We submitted to them; honored them; loved them. Painful at the time as correction may have been, yet when we have fully understood the design of it, we have loved them the more. The effect of such discipline, properly administered, is to produce real veneration for a parent - for he who in a timely and appropriate manner restrains his child is the only one who will secure ultimate reverence and respect.

    Shall we not much rather be in subjection - Since God's government is so much more perfect; since he has so much better right to control us; and since his administration is free from all the defects which attend parental discipline on earth, there is a much higher reason for bowing with submission and reverence to him.

    The Father of spirits - Thus, in Numbers 16:22, God is called "the God of the spirits of all flesh;" so also Numbers 27:16; compare Job 33:4. The idea seems to be that, as the soul is the most important part of man, this name is given to God by way of eminence, or he is eminently and supremely our Father. It was his to create the immortal part, and to that spirit which is never to die he sustains the relation of Father. The earthly father is parent to the man as mortal; God is the Father of man as immortal. God is himself a spirit. Angels and human souls, therefore, may be represented as especially his offspring. It is the highest designation which could be given to God to say that he is at the head of the universe of mind; not implying that he is not also at the head of the material universe, but designing to bring into view this high characteristic of the Almighty, that all created minds throughout the universe sustain to him the relation of children. To this Great Being we should, therefore, more cheerfully subject ourselves than to an earthly parent.

    And live - Meaning that his fatherly chastisements are adapted to secure our spiritual life. He corrects us that he may promote our final happiness, and his inflictions are the means of saving us from eternal death.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 12:9

    12:9 And we reverenced them - We neither despised nor fainted under their correction. Shall we not much rather - Submit with reverence and meekness To the Father of spirits - That we may live with him for ever. Perhaps these expressions, fathers of our flesh, and Father of spirits, intimate that our earthly fathers are only the parents of our bodies, our souls not being originally derived from them, but all created by the immediate power of God; perhaps, at the beginning of the world.