The Meaning of Hebrews 12:22 Explained

Hebrews 12:22

KJV: But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

YLT: But, ye came to Mount Zion, and to a city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers,

Darby: but ye have come to mount Zion; and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels,

ASV: but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,

What does Hebrews 12:22 Mean?

Study Notes

angels
.
Angel, Summary: Angel, "messenger," is used of God, of men, and of an order of created spiritual beings whose chief attributes are strength and wisdom. 2 Samuel 14:20 ; Psalms 103:20 ; Psalms 104:4 . In the O.T. the expression "the angel of the Lord" (sometimes "of God") usually implies the presence of Deity in angelic form.; Genesis 16:1-13 ; Genesis 21:17-19 ; Genesis 22:11-16 ; Genesis 31:11-13 ; Exodus 3:2-4 ; Judges 2:1 ; Judges 6:12-16 ; Judges 13:3-22 (See Scofield " Malachi 3:1 ") . The word "angel" is used of men in; Luke 7:24 ; James 2:25 ; Revelation 1:20 ; Revelation 2:1 ; Revelation 2:8 ; Revelation 2:12 ; Revelation 2:18 ; Revelation 3:1 ; Revelation 3:7 ; Revelation 3:14 In Revelation 8:3-5 . Christ is evidently meant. Sometimes angel is used of the spirit of man.; Matthew 18:10 ; Acts 12:15 . Though angels are spirits; Psalms 104:4 ; Hebrews 1:14 power is given them to become visible in the semblance of human form. Genesis 19:1 cf; Genesis 19:5 ; Exodus 3:2 ; Numbers 22:22-31 ; Judges 2:1 ; Judges 6:11 ; Judges 6:22 ; Judges 13:3 ; Judges 13:6 ; 1 Chronicles 21:16 ; 1 Chronicles 21:20 ; Matthew 1:20 ; Luke 1:26 ; John 20:12 ; Acts 7:30 ; Acts 12:7 ; Acts 12:8 etc.). The word is always used in the masculine gender, though sex, in the human sense, is never ascribed to angels.; Matthew 22:30 ; Mark 12:25 . They are exceedingly numerous.; Matthew 26:53 ; Hebrews 12:22 ; Revelation 5:11 ; Psalms 68:17 . The power is inconceivable. 2 Kings 19:35 . Their place is about the throne of God.; Revelation 5:11 ; Revelation 7:11 . Their relation to the believer is that of "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation," and this ministry has reference largely to the physical safety and well-being of believers.; 1 Kings 19:5 ; Psalms 34:7 ; Psalms 91:11 ; Daniel 6:22 ; Matthew 2:13 ; Matthew 2:19 ; Matthew 4:11 ; Luke 22:43 ; Acts 5:19 ; Acts 12:7-10 . From; Hebrews 1:14 ; Matthew 18:10 ; Psalms 91:11 it would seem that this care for the heirs of salvation begins in infancy and continues through life. The angels observe us; 1 Corinthians 4:9 ; Ephesians 3:10 ; Ecclesiastes 5:6 a fact which should influence conduct. They receive departing saints. Luke 16:22 . Man is made "a little lower than the angels," and in incarnation Christ took "for a little "time" this lower place.; Psalms 8:4 ; Psalms 8:5 ; Hebrews 2:6 ; Hebrews 2:9 that He might lift the believer into His own sphere above angels. Hebrews 2:9 ; Hebrews 2:10 . The angels are to accompany Christ in His second advent. Matthew 25:31 . To them will be committed the preparation of the judgment of the nations. Matthew 13:30 ; Matthew 13:39 ; Matthew 13:41 ; Matthew 13:42 . See Scofield " Matthew 25:32 ". The kingdom-age is not to be subject to angels, but to Christ and those for whom He was made a little lower than the angels. Hebrews 2:5 An archangel, Michael, is mentioned as having a particular relation to Israel and to the resurrections.; Daniel 10:13 ; Daniel 10:21 ; Daniel 12:1 ; Daniel 12:2 ; Judges 1:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 . The only other angel whose name is revealed Gabriel, was employed in the most distinguished services.; Daniel 8:16 ; Daniel 9:21 ; Luke 1:19 ; Luke 1:26 .
Fallen angels. Two classes of these are mentioned:
(1) "The angels which kept not their first estate place, but left their own habitation," are "chained under darkness," awaiting judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 ; Judges 1:6 ; 1 Corinthians 6:3 ; John 5:22 .
(See Scofield " Genesis 6:4 ")
(2) The angels who have Satan Genesis 3:1 as leader.
(See Scofield " Revelation 20:10 ") .
The origin of these is nowhere explicitly revealed. They may be identical with the demons.
(See Scofield " Matthew 7:22 ") . For Satan and his angels everlasting fire is prepared. Matthew 25:41 ; Revelation 20:10 .

Context Summary

Hebrews 12:18-29 - Hearken To God's Latest Word
Sinai rocked with earthquake and burned with fire. None might touch it without incurring the death penalty. How much better our Christian heritage! Not a lonely mountain, but a city and commonwealth of holy souls. Not bands of worshipers gathered from the land of Canaan, but hosts of angels, the spirits of just men; and our blessed Lord Himself. For the blood of animals, the blood of Jesus; for the Old Covenant, the New; for Abel's death beside his altar, the Savior's death on the cross.
Notice the writer does not say that we shall, but that we are come, Hebrews 12:22. Already, in our holiest moments, we are part of that great throng to which so many of our beloved have gone. Around us the most stable structures are being tested and some are crumbling to the ground. As they fall they show that their service was transient. But as the scaffolding is taken down, the true building-the City of God-emerges. [source]

Chapter Summary: Hebrews 12

1  An exhortation to constant faith, patience, and godliness by Christ's example
22  A commendation of the new covenant

Greek Commentary for Hebrews 12:22

But [αλλα]
Sharp contrast to Hebrews 12:18 with same form προσεληλυτατε — proselēluthate Unto Mount Zion Dative case of ορος — oros as with the other substantives. In contrast to Mount Sinai (Hebrews 12:18-21). Paul has contrasted Mount Sinai (present Jerusalem) with the Jerusalem above (heaven) in Galatians 4:21-31. City As in Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 11:16. Heaven is termed thus a spiritual mountain and city. The heavenly Jerusalem See Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 11:16; Isaiah 60:14. Innumerable hosts of angels “Myriads of angels.” Μυριας — Murias is an old word (from μυριος — murios 1 Corinthians 4:15) as in Luke 12:1. [source]
The heavenly Jerusalem []
See on Galatians 4:26. The spiritual mountain and city where God dwells and reigns. Comp. Dante Inf. i. 128:“Quivi e la sua cittade, e l'alto seggio.”Comp. Psalm 2:6; Psalm 48:2, Psalm 48:3; Psalm 50:2; Psalm 78:68; Psalm 110:2; Isaiah 18:7; Joel 2:32; Micah 4:1, Micah 4:2; Amos 1:2. [source]
To an innumerable company of angels [μυριάσιν ἀγγέλων]
On this whole passage (Hebrews 12:22-24) it is to be observed that it is arranged in a series of clauses connected by καὶ . Accordingly μυριάσιν tomyriads or tens of thousands stands by itself, and πανηγύρει festalassembly goes with ἀγγέλων angels Μυριάς (see Luke 12:1; Acts 19:19; Revelation 5:11; quite often in lxx) is strictly the number ten thousand. In the plural, an innumerable multitude. So A.V. here. Rend. “to an innumerable multitude,” placing a comma after μυριάσιν , and connecting of angels with the next clause. This use of μυριάσιν without a qualifying genitive is justified by numerous examples. See Genesis 24:60; Deuteronomy 32:30; Deuteronomy 33:2; 1 Samuel 18:7, 1 Samuel 18:8; Psalm 90:7; Song of Solomon 5:10; Daniel 7:10; Daniel 11:12; 2 Maccabees 8:20; Judges href="/desk/?q=jud+1:14&sr=1">Judges 1:14. Χιλιάδες thousandsis used in the same way. See Daniel href="/desk/?q=da+7:10&sr=1">Daniel 7:10. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Hebrews 12:22

Galatians 4:26 Jerusalem which is above [ἡ ἄνω Ἱερουσαλὴμ]
Paul uses the Hebrew form Ἱερουσαλὴμ in preference to the Greek Ἱεροσόλυμα , which occurs Galatians 1:17, Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:1. The phrase Jerusalem which is above was familiar to the rabbinical teachers, who conceived the heavenly Jerusalem as the archetype of the earthly. On the establishment of Messiah's kingdom, the heavenly archetype would be let down to earth, and would be the capital of the messianic theocracy. Comp. Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 3:12, Revelation 21:2. Paul here means the messianic kingdom of Christ, partially realized in the Christian church, but to be fully realized only at the second coming of the Lord. For ἄνω , comp. Philemon 3:14; Colossians 3:1, Colossians 3:2. [source]
Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire [καὶ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν πῦρ καταναλίσκον]
See Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 9:3; Malachi 3:2; Malachi 4:1. The verb N.T.oa few times in lxx. Often in Class., especially Xenophon. Originally to use up, spend, lavish, as property: thence to consume as with fire. The simple verb ἀναλίσκειν toexpend occurs Luke 9:54; Galatians 5:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν is not our God as compared with the God of the Jews. He is the God of both covenants (see Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 1:2, and notes); but though now revealed in Jesus Christ, and offering all the privileges of the new covenant (Hebrews 12:22-24), his anger burns against those who reject these privileges. [source]
Hebrews 12:22 To an innumerable company of angels [μυριάσιν ἀγγέλων]
On this whole passage (Hebrews 12:22-24) it is to be observed that it is arranged in a series of clauses connected by καὶ . Accordingly μυριάσιν tomyriads or tens of thousands stands by itself, and πανηγύρει festalassembly goes with ἀγγέλων angels Μυριάς (see Luke 12:1; Acts 19:19; Revelation 5:11; quite often in lxx) is strictly the number ten thousand. In the plural, an innumerable multitude. So A.V. here. Rend. “to an innumerable multitude,” placing a comma after μυριάσιν , and connecting of angels with the next clause. This use of μυριάσιν without a qualifying genitive is justified by numerous examples. See Genesis 24:60; Deuteronomy 32:30; Deuteronomy 33:2; 1 Samuel 18:7, 1 Samuel 18:8; Psalm 90:7; Song of Solomon 5:10; Daniel 7:10; Daniel 11:12; 2 Maccabees 8:20; Judges href="/desk/?q=jud+1:14&sr=1">Judges 1:14. Χιλιάδες thousandsis used in the same way. See Daniel href="/desk/?q=da+7:10&sr=1">Daniel 7:10. [source]
Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations [ἐξεδέχετο γὰρ τὴν τοὺς θεμελίους ἔξουσαν πόλιν]
The sense is impaired in A.V. by the omission of the articles, the city, the foundations. Passing over the immediate subject of God's promise to Abraham - his inheritance of the land in which he sojourns - the writer fastens the patriarch's faith upon the heavenly fulfillment of the promise - the perfected community of God, which, he assumes, was contained in the original promise. By the city he means the heavenly Jerusalem, and his statement is that Abraham's faith looked forward to that. The idea of the new or heavenly Jerusalem was familiar to the Jews. See Hebrews 12:22, Hebrews 13:14; Galatians 4:26; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2. The Rabbins regarded it as an actual city. For the foundations comp. Revelation 21:14. In ascribing to the patriarchs an assured faith in heaven as the end and reward of their wanderings, the writer oversteps the limits of history; but evidently imports into the patriarchal faith the contents of a later and more developed faith - that of himself and his readers. [source]
Hebrews 12:18 Ye are not come [ου προσεληλυτατε]
Perfect active indicative of προσερχομαι — proserchomai There is no word here in the Greek for “a mount” like ορει — orei in Hebrews 12:20, Hebrews 12:22 (and Exodus 19:12.; Deuteronomy 4:11), but it is clearly understood since the dative participles agree with it unless they be taken as descriptive of πυρι — puri (“a palpable and kindled fire “ when πυρι — puri would be the dative case after προσεληλυτατε — proselēluthate). That might be touched Present passive participle (dative case) of πσηλαπαω — psēlaphaō old verb to handle, to touch (Luke 24:39). That burned with fire Perfect passive participle of καιω — kaiō old verb to burn, with instrumental case πυρι — puri (fire), unless the other view (above) is correct. [source]
Revelation 9:16 Two hundred thousand thousand [δύο μυριάδες μυριάδων]
Lit., two ten-thousands of ten-thousands. See on Revelation 5:11. Rev., twice ten-thousand times ten-thousand. Compare Psalm 68:17; Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22; Judges 1:14. [source]
Revelation 5:11 Ten thousand times ten thousand [μυρίαδες μυρίαδων]
Lit., ten thousands of ten thousands. Compare Psalm 68:17; Daniel 8:10. Μυριάς , whence the English myriad, means the number ten thousand. So, literally, Acts 19:19, ἀργυρίου μυριάδας πέντε fifty-thousandpieces of silver; lit., five ten-thousands. In the plural used for an unlimited number. See Luke 12:1; Acts 21:20; Hebrews 12:22; Judges 1:14. [source]
Revelation 3:12 New Jerusalem []
See Ezekiel 48:35. The believer whose brow is adorned with this name has the freedom of the heavenly city. Even on earth his commonwealth is in heaven (Philemon 3:20). “Still, his citizenship was latent: he was one of God's hidden ones; but now he is openly avouched, and has a right to enter in by the gates to the city” (Trench). The city is called by John, the great and holy (Revelation 21:10); by Matthew, the holy city (Matthew 4:5); by Paul, Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:6); by the writer to the Hebrews, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22). Plato calls his ideal city Callipolis, the fair city (“Republic,” vii., 527), and the name Ouranopolis, heavenly city, was applied to Rome and Byzantium. For new ( καινῆς ), see on Matthew 26:29. The new Jerusalem is not a city freshly built ( νέα ), but is new ( καινὴ ) in contrast with the old, outworn, sinful city. In the Gospel John habitually uses the Greek and civil form of the name, Ἰεροσόλυμα ; in Revelation, the Hebrew and more holy appellation, ἱερουσάλημ . [source]
Revelation 19:1 After these things [μετα ταυτα]
Often when a turn comes in this book. But Beckwith is probably correct in seeing in Revelation 19:1-5 the climax of chapter Rev 18. This first voice (Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:2) ως πωνην μεγαλην ουχλου πολλου — hōs phōnēn megalēn ouchlou pollou (as it were great voice of much multitude) is probably the response of the angelic host (Revelation 5:11; Hebrews 12:22). There is responsive singing (grand chorus) as in chapters Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14. [source]
Revelation 21:2 The holy city, new Jerusalem [την πολιν την αγιαν Ιερουσαλημ καινην]
“The New Earth must have a new metropolis, not another Babylon, but another and greater Jerusalem” (Swete), and not the old Jerusalem which was destroyed a.d. 70. It was called the Holy City in a conventional way (Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53), but now in reality because it is new and fresh (καινην — kainēn), this heavenly Jerusalem of hope (Hebrews 12:22), this Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26.) where our real citizenship is (Philemon 3:20). [source]
Revelation 3:12 The new Jerusalem [της καινης Ιερουσαλημ]
Not νεας — neas (young), but καινης — kainēs (fresh). See also Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10 and already Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22. Charles distinguishes between the Jerusalem before the final judgment and this new Jerusalem after that event. Perhaps so! In the Apocalypse always this form Ιερουσαλημ — Ierousalēm (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10), but in John‘s Gospel ιεροσολυμα — Hierosoluma (Revelation 1:19, etc.). [source]
Revelation 3:12 A pillar [στυλον]
Old word for column, in N.T. only here, Revelation 10:1; Galatians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:15. Metaphorical and personal use with a double significance of being firmly fixed and giving stability to the building. Philadelphia was a city of earthquakes. “Temple” Strong double negative ου μη — ou mē with the second aorist active subjunctive of ερχομαι — erchomai The subject is ο νικων — ho nikōn (the one overcoming). “Fixity of character is at last achieved” (Charles). He, like the στυλος — stulos (pillar), remains in place.Upon him Upon ο νικων — ho nikōn (the victor), not upon the pillar He receives this triple name (of God, of the city of God, of Christ) on his forehead (Revelation 14:1; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 22:4) just as the high-priest wore the name of Jehovah upon his forehead (Exodus 28:36, Exodus 28:38), the new name (Revelation 2:17), without any magical or talismanic power, but as proof of ownership by God, as a citizen of the New Jerusalem, with the new symbol of the glorious personality of Christ (Revelation 19:12), in contrast with the mark of the beast on others (Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:17). For citizenship in God‘s city see Galatians 4:26; Philemon 3:20; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14.The new Jerusalem (της καινης Ιερουσαλημ — tēs kainēs Ierousalēm). Not νεας — neas (young), but καινης — kainēs (fresh). See also Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10 and already Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22. Charles distinguishes between the Jerusalem before the final judgment and this new Jerusalem after that event. Perhaps so! In the Apocalypse always this form Ιερουσαλημ — Ierousalēm (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10), but in John‘s Gospel ιεροσολυμα — Hierosoluma (Revelation 1:19, etc.).Which cometh down Nominative case in apposition with the preceding genitive πολεως — poleōs as in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 2:20, etc.Mine own new name (το ονομα μου το καινον — to onoma mou to kainon). For which see Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12, Revelation 19:16. Christ himself will receive a new name along with all else in the future world (Gressmann). [source]
Revelation 3:12 Upon him [επ αυτον]
Upon ο νικων — ho nikōn (the victor), not upon the pillar He receives this triple name (of God, of the city of God, of Christ) on his forehead (Revelation 14:1; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 22:4) just as the high-priest wore the name of Jehovah upon his forehead (Exodus 28:36, Exodus 28:38), the new name (Revelation 2:17), without any magical or talismanic power, but as proof of ownership by God, as a citizen of the New Jerusalem, with the new symbol of the glorious personality of Christ (Revelation 19:12), in contrast with the mark of the beast on others (Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:17). For citizenship in God‘s city see Galatians 4:26; Philemon 3:20; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14.The new Jerusalem (της καινης Ιερουσαλημ — tēs kainēs Ierousalēm). Not νεας — neas (young), but καινης — kainēs (fresh). See also Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10 and already Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22. Charles distinguishes between the Jerusalem before the final judgment and this new Jerusalem after that event. Perhaps so! In the Apocalypse always this form Ιερουσαλημ — Ierousalēm (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10), but in John‘s Gospel ιεροσολυμα — Hierosoluma (Revelation 1:19, etc.).Which cometh down Nominative case in apposition with the preceding genitive πολεως — poleōs as in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 2:20, etc.Mine own new name (το ονομα μου το καινον — to onoma mou to kainon). For which see Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12, Revelation 19:16. Christ himself will receive a new name along with all else in the future world (Gressmann). [source]

What do the individual words in Hebrews 12:22 mean?

But you have come to Zion Mount and [the] city of God [the] living [the] Jerusalem heavenly to myriads of angels
Ἀλλὰ προσεληλύθατε Σιὼν ὄρει καὶ πόλει Θεοῦ ζῶντος Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐπουρανίῳ μυριάσιν ἀγγέλων

προσεληλύθατε  you  have  come  to 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: προσέρχομαι  
Sense: to come to, approach.
Σιὼν  Zion 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: Σιών  
Sense: the hill on which the higher and more ancient part of Jerusalem was built.
ὄρει  Mount 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: ὄρος  
Sense: a mountain.
πόλει  [the]  city 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: πόλις  
Sense: a city.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
ζῶντος  [the]  living 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: ζάω  
Sense: to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead).
Ἰερουσαλὴμ  [the]  Jerusalem 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: Ἰερουσαλήμ  
Sense: denotes either the city itself or the inhabitants.
ἐπουρανίῳ  heavenly 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: ἐπουράνιος  
Sense: existing in heaven.
μυριάσιν  to  myriads 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Plural
Root: μυριάς  
Sense: ten thousand.
ἀγγέλων  of  angels 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἄγγελος  
Sense: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God.