“Wherefore, seeing wee also are compassed about with so great a cloude of witnesses, let vs lay aside euery weight, & the sinne which doth so easily beset vs, and let vs runne with patience vnto the race that is set before vs,”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
12:1 Wherefore, being encompassed with a cloud - A great multitude, tending upward with a holy swiftness. Of witnesses - Of the power of faith. Let us lay aside every weight - As all who run a race take care to do. Let us throw off whatever weighs us down, or damps the vigour of our Soul. And the sin which easily besetteth us - As doth the sin of our constitution, the sin of our education, the sin of our profession.
Heb 12:1 Perseverance and the Christian Race SUMMARY OF HEBREWS 12: How to Run the Christian Race. Enduring Affliction. The Lord's Chastisement of Children. The Lesson from the Case of Esau. The Terrors of Sinai Contrasted with the Gospel. Paying Heed to the Gospel. So great a cloud of witnesses. The vast cloud of witnesses named in chapter 11, who testify by their lives to the power of faith. Let us lay aside every weight. Every hindrance. The figure used is that of the Greek foot races in the games then practiced in every province of the Roman Empire, including Palestine. Before running the runner laid off every weight. And the sin which doth so easily beset [us]. Our besetting sin, whatever it may be. In the case of these Hebrew Christians the context shows that the besetting sin was unbelief. And let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Run the Christian race with steadfast perseverance.