Hebrews 12:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 12:5, NIV: And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

Hebrews 12:5, ESV: And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

Hebrews 12:5, KJV: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:5, NASB: and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, 'MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE PUNISHED BY HIM;

Hebrews 12:5, NLT: And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, 'My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you.

Hebrews 12:5, CSB: And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:My son, do not take the Lord's discipline lightlyor lose heart when you are reproved by him,

What does Hebrews 12:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, the writer of Hebrews is pointing out that worldly persecution is not a sign that God has abandoned us. Rather, God uses earthly struggles to mold us. Earlier examples referred to heroes of the faith, most of all Jesus, who endured suffering at the hands of others and overcame it through their faith in God (Hebrews 12:1–3). This type of "discipline," then, is not a punishment. It's more like training—an exercise meant to increase our faith and our dependence on Him.

Here, the writer shows that this idea is not brand new. The concept that a loving father would "discipline" a child is one already found in Scripture. The passage cited here, and in verse 6, is Proverbs 3:11–12. There, we learn that a good father purposefully directs the growth of his children. He corrects them when they stray, but he also trains them in a certain path (Proverbs 22:6). Combined with references to Jesus, the writer is saying that earthly hardship is actually proof that God loves us and is working in our spirits to prepare us for His purposes (Ephesians 6:4).