Verse 12. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful" - Commentators are greatly divided concerning the meaning of the phrase 'o logov tov qeou, the word of God; some supposing the whole of Divine revelation to be intended; others, the doctrine of the Gospel faithfully preached; others, the mind of God or the Divine intellect; and others, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is thus denominated in John i. 1, &c., and Rev. xix. 13; the only places in which he is thus incontestably characterized in the New Testament. The disputed text, 1 John v. 7, I leave at present out of the question. In the introduction to this epistle I have produced sufficient evidence to make it very probable that St. Paul was the author of this epistle. In this sentiment the most eminent scholars and critics are now agreed. That Jesus Christ, the eternal, uncreated WORD, is not meant here, is more than probable from this consideration, that St. Paul, in no part of his thirteen acknowledged epistles, ever thus denominates our blessed Lord; nor is he thus denominated by any other of the New Testament writers except St. John. Dr. Owen has endeavoured to prove the contrary, but I believe to no man's conviction who was able to examine and judge of the subject. He has not been able to find more than two texts which even appeared to look his way. The first is, Luke i. 2: Us, which- were eye witnesses, and ministers tou logou, of the word; where it is evident the whole of our Lord's ministry is intended. The second is, Acts xx. x22: I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace; where nothing but the gracious doctrine of salvation by faith, the influence of the Divine Spirit, &c., &c., can be meant: nor is there any legitimate mode of construction with which I am acquainted, by which the words in either place can be personally applied to our Lord. That the phrase was applied to denominate the second subsistence in the glorious Trinity, by Philo and the rabbinical writers, I have already proved in my notes on John 1., where such observations are alone applicable.
Calmet, who had read all that either the ancients or moderns have said on this subject, and who does not think that Jesus Christ is here intended, speaks thus: "None of the properties mentioned here can be denied to the Son of God, the eternal Word; he sees all things, knows all things, penetrates all things, and can do all things. He is the ruler of the heart, and can turn it where he pleases. He enlightens the soul, and calls it gently and efficaciously, when and how he wills. Finally, he punishes in the most exemplary manner the insults offered to his Father and himself by infidels, unbelievers, and the wicked in general. But it does not appear that the Divine Logos is here intended, 1. Because St. Paul does not use that term to express the Son of God. 2. Because the conjunction gar, for, shows that this verse is an inference drawn from the preceding, where the subject in question is concerning the eternal rest, and the means by which it is to be obtained. It is therefore more natural to explain the term of the word, order, and will of God, for the Hebrews represent the revelation of God as an active being, living, all-powerful, illumined, executing vengeance, discerning and penetrating all things. Thus Wisd. xvi. x16: 'Thy children, O Lord, know that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man, but that it is thy word that preserveth them that put their trust in thee.' See Deut. viii. 3. That is, the sacred Scriptures point out and appoint all the means of life. Again, speaking of the Hebrews who were bitten with the fiery serpents, the same writer says, Wisd. xvi. 12: 'For it was neither herb nor mollifying plaster that restored them to health, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things;' i.e. which describes and prescribes the means of healing. And it is very likely that the purpose of God, sending the destroying angel to slay the firstborn in Egypt is intended by the same expression, Wisd. xviii. 15, 16: 'Thine almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into a land of destruction, and brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and, standing up, filled all things with death.' This however may be applied to the eternal Logos, or uncreated Word.
"And this mode of speech is exactly conformable to that of the Prophet Isaiah, Isa. lv. 10, 11, where to the word of God, spoken by his prophets, the same kind of powers are attributed as those mentioned here by the apostle: For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my WORD BE that GOETH FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH: it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. The centurion seems to speak a similar language, Luke vii. 7: But say in a word, (alla eipe logw, speak to thy word,) and my servant shall be healed." This is the sum of what this very able commentator says on the subject.
In Dr. Dodd's collections we find the following:- "The word of God, which promises to the faithful, an entrance into God's rest in David's time, and now to us, is not a thing which died or was forgotten as soon as it was uttered, but it continues one and the same to all generations; it is zwn, quick or living. So Isaiah says: The word of our God shall stand for ever; Isa. xl. 8. Compare chap.Isa. li. 6; lv. 11; 1Esdras iv. 38; John iii. 34; 1 Pet. i. 23. And powerful, enrghv, efficacious,