Hebrews 12:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

King James Bible
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Darby Bible Translation
lest [there be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright;

World English Bible
lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal.

Young's Literal Translation
lest any one be a fornicator, or a profane person, as Esau, who in exchange for one morsel of food did sell his birthright,

Hebrews 12:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Lest there be any fornicator - Any licentious person who would turn the Gospel of the grace of God into lasciviousness.

Or profane person, as Esau - It is not intimated that Esau was a fornicator; and the disjunctive η, or, separates the profane person from the fornicator. And Esau is here termed profane, because he so far disregarded the spiritual advantages connected with his rights of primogeniture, that he alienated the whole for a single mess of pottage. See the note on Genesis 25:34. The word βεβηλος, which we translate profane, is compounded of βε, which in composition has a negative signification, and βηλος, the threshold of a temple or sacred edifice; and was applied to those who were not initiated into the sacred mysteries, or who were despisers of sacred things, and consequently were to be denied admittance to the temple, and were not permitted to assist at holy rites. Indeed, among the Greeks βεβηλος signified any thing or person which was not consecrated to the gods. Hence, in the opening of their worship, they were accustomed to proclaim,

Procul, O procul, este profani!


"Hence! O hence! ye profane."


Odi profanum vulgus, et arceo.


"I abominate the profane vulgar, and drive them from the temple."

The Latin profanus, from which we have our word, is compounded of procul a fano, "far from the temple," properly an irreligious man.

Sold his birthright - The first-born, in patriarchal times,

1. Had a right to the priesthood, Exodus 22:29.

2. And a double portion of all the father's possessions, Deuteronomy 21:17.

3. And was lord over his brethren, Genesis 27:29, Genesis 27:37; Genesis 49:3.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

any fornicator.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Acts 15:20,29 But that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood...

1 Corinthians 5:1-6,9-11 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles...

1 Corinthians 6:15-20 Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ...

1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn many which have sinned already...

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness...

Ephesians 5:3,5 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints...

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence...

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication...

Revelation 2:20-23 Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess...

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters...

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

as Esau.

Genesis 25:31-34 And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright...

Genesis 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he has supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold...

Shaking of Heaven and Earth. December 22.
"Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but heaven" (Hebrews xii. 26- 29). This is one of the royal texts of Scripture. It declares one of those great laws of the kingdom of God which may fulfil itself once and again at many eras and by many methods; which fulfilled itself most gloriously in the first century after Christ; again in the fifth century; again at the time of the Crusades; and again at the great Reformation in the sixteenth century,--and is fulfilling itself again at this very day.
Charles Kingsley—Daily Thoughts,

March 26. "Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Our Faith" (Heb. xii. 2).
"Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. xii. 2). Add to your faith--do not add to yourself. This is where we make the mistake. We must not only enter by faith, but we must advance by faith each step of the way. At every new stage we shall find ourselves as incompetent and unequal for the pressure as before, and we must take the grace and the victory simply by faith. Is it courage? We shall find ourselves lacking in the needed courage; we must claim it by faith. Is it love? Our own love
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Voice of the Blood of Christ
Now, we have in our text "blood" mentioned--two-fold blood. We have the blood of murdered Abel, and the blood of murdered Jesus. We have also two things in the text:--a comparison between the blood of sprinkling, and the blood of Abel; and then a certain condition mentioned. Rather, if we read the whole verse in order to get its meaning, we find that the righteous are spoken of as coming to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel; so that the condition which will
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Shameful Sufferer
"O love, thou fathomless abyss!" for this love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless. None of us can attain unto it. In speaking thereof we feel our own weakness, we cast ourselves upon the strength of the Spirit, but, even then, we feel that we can never attain unto the majesty of this subject. Before we can ever get a right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand his previous glory in its height of majesty, and his incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. Now, who can
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Cross References
Genesis 25:33
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

1 Timothy 1:9
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

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