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No one shall come up with you, and let no one even be seen on any part of the mountain;(A) even the sheep and the cattle are not to graze in front of this mountain.”

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18 [a]You have not approached that which could be touched[b](A) and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm 19 and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them,(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 12:18–29 As a final appeal for adherence to Christian teaching, the two covenants, of Moses and of Christ, are compared. The Mosaic covenant, the author argues, is shown to have originated in fear of God and threats of divine punishment (Hb 12:18–21). The covenant in Christ gives us direct access to God (Hb 12:22), makes us members of the Christian community, God’s children, a sanctified people (Hb 12:23), who have Jesus as mediator to speak for us (Hb 12:24). Not to heed the voice of the risen Christ is a graver sin than the rejection of the word of Moses (Hb 12:25–26). Though Christians fall away, God’s kingdom in Christ will remain and his justice will punish those guilty of deserting it (Hb 12:28–29).
  2. 12:18 This remarkably beautiful passage contrasts two great assemblies of people: that of the Israelites gathered at Mount Sinai for the sealing of the old covenant and the promulgation of the Mosaic law, and that of the followers of Jesus gathered at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of the new covenant. This latter scene, marked by the presence of countless angels and of Jesus with his redeeming blood, is reminiscent of the celestial liturgies of the Book of Revelation.

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