Hebrews 12:1

Therefore (toigaroun). Triple compound inferential participle (toi, gar, oun) like the German doch denn nun, a conclusion of emphasis, old particle, in N.T. only here and 1 Thessalonians 4:8 . There should be no chapter division here, since Hebrews 12:1-3 really is the climax in the whole argument about the better promises ( Hebrews 10:19-12:3 ) with a passionate appeal for loyalty to Christ. Us also (kai hmei). We as well as "these all" of Hebrews 11:39 and all the more because of the "something better" given us in the actual coming of Christ. Compassed about (econte perikeimenon). Literally, "having (econte, present active participle of ecw) lying around us" (perikeimenon, present middle participle of perikeimai, old verb as in Luke 17:2 ). Cloud of witnesses (nepo marturwn). Old word (Latin nubes), here only in the N.T., for vast mass of clouds. Nepelh is a single cloud. The metaphor refers to the great amphitheatre with the arena for the runners and the tiers upon tiers of seats rising up like a cloud. The marture here are not mere spectators (qeatai), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience ( Luke 11:2 Luke 11:4 Luke 11:5 Luke 11:33 Luke 11:39 ) to God's fulfilling his promises as shown in chapter Hebrews 11:1 . Laying aside (apoqemenoi). Second aorist-middle (indirect, from ourselves) participle of apotiqhmi, old verb as in Colossians 3:8 (laying off old clothes). The runners ran in the stadium nearly naked. Every weight (ogkon panta). Old word (kin to enegkein, perw) like porto, baro. Here every encumbrance that handicaps like doubt, pride, sloth, anything. No trailing garment to hinder or trip one. The sin which doth so easily beset us (thn euperistaton amartian). "The easily besetting sin." There are a dozen possible renderings of this double compound verbal from eu, well, and periisthmi, to place around or to stand around (intransitive). The Vulgate has circumstans nos peccatum (the sin standing around us). Probably this is the true idea here, "the easily encompassing (or surrounding) sin." In this case apostasy from Christ was that sin. In our cases it may be some other sin. The verbal adjective reminds one of the ring of wild beasts in the jungle that encircle the camp-fire at night each ready to pounce upon a careless victim. Let us run (trecwmen). Present active volitive subjunctive of trecw, "let us keep on running." With patience (di upomonh). Not with impatience, doubt, or despair. The race that is set before us (ton prokeimenon hmin agwna). Note the article and the present middle participle of prokeimai, old compound (already in Colossians 6:18 , and also in Colossians 12:2 ). Dative case (hmin) of personal interest.