Hebrews 12:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 12:19, NIV: to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,

Hebrews 12:19, ESV: and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.

Hebrews 12:19, KJV: And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

Hebrews 12:19, NASB: and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words, which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.

Hebrews 12:19, NLT: For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking.

Hebrews 12:19, CSB: to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them,

What does Hebrews 12:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Israel left Egypt, they were given a covenant by God at the mount of Sinai (Exodus 19:9–20). This event was miraculous and spectacular. It was also terrifying, as God used clouds, fire, the sound of trumpets, and a forbidden mountain to deliver His Words. This passage continues the consistent theme of the book of Hebrews: the new covenant is superior to the old covenant. In this case, the comparison is between how the covenant is presented to us.

The prior verse began to describe the intimidating nature of God's work at Mount Sinai. This depiction continues here, and its effects are given in later verses. The people were understandably shaken, as was God's intent. They were meant to see God as completely holy and One they could not approach in their sinful condition. As explained earlier in the book of Hebrews, the point of the old covenant was for mankind to understand their own sin and to turn to God as a result (Hebrews 9:8–12; Galatians 3:23–24). Another point made in this book is that the old covenant featured various physical components, which turned out to be symbols of the "real" covenant, which was to be spiritual. Here, in this section, a similar contrast is made between the physical events of Sinai and the spiritual nature of the new covenant.