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Sonship and Birthright (12: 5 - 25).
pp. 21 - 28
Heb. 12: 5-24 is occupied with a two-fold theme: 5-14, sons; 15-24, firstborn.
The first section, sons, speaks of that of which all are partakers if they are true
children. The second, of that which only the firstborn attain, but of which the Esaus fail.
The structure of 12: 5-14 is simple in its broad outlines, though involved when we
approach the detail.
Hebrews 12: 5 - 14
Mark of sonship. Discipline received.
The end. Partakers of His holiness.
Fruit of righteousness. Discipline exercised.
The pursuit. Peace and holiness.
The opening verse of Heb. 11: is twofold in its aspect, viz., (1) faith is the substance
of things hoped for; this is the theme of Chapter 11:: (2) The elengchos of things not
seen; this is the theme of Heb. 12: 5-14.
Elengchos is balanced by elengcho in Heb. 12: 5, where it is translated "rebuked".
Now the quotation, "the just shall live by faith" in Heb. 10: 38, takes us back to the same
word, for in Habk. 2: 1 we find it in the word "reproved" as we have already seen. In
Heb. 12: the apostle quotes Prov. 3: 11, 12, where in the LXX translation, we find
elengchos as "correction". This "rebuke", "correction", "discipline", is an essential
accompaniment of sonship and growth.
Let us now look at one or two passages that illuminate the purpose and instruments of
"Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years
in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart,
whether thou wouldst keep His commandments, or no. And He humbled thee, and
suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy
fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but
by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment
waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also
consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God
chasteneth thee" (Deut. 8: 2-5).
We are apt to fix our minds upon the painful side of chastening, and, by reason of our
folly, there is often a need for that phase, but it is good also to notice that a part of this