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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Hebrews 4:12


    CHAPTERS: Hebrews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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    King James Bible - Hebrew 4:12

    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    World English Bible

    For the word of God is
    living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

    Douay-Rheims - Hebrew 4:12

    For the word of God is
    living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    For the word of God is
    living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    ζων
    2198 5723 γαρ 1063 ο 3588 λογος 3056 του 3588 θεου 2316 και 2532 ενεργης 1756 και 2532 τομωτερος 5114 υπερ 5228 πασαν 3956 μαχαιραν 3162 διστομον 1366 και 2532 διικνουμενος 1338 5740 αχρι 891 μερισμου 3311 ψυχης 5590 τε 5037 και 2532 πνευματος 4151 αρμων 719 τε 5037 και 2532 μυελων 3452 και 2532 κριτικος 2924 ενθυμησεων 1761 και 2532 εννοιων 1771 καρδιας 2588

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (12) -
    Heb 13:7 Isa 49:2 Lu 8:11 Ac 4:31 2Co 2:17; 4:2 Re 20:4

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 4:12

    Porque la Palabra de Dios es viva y eficaz, y ms penetrante que toda espada de dos filos; y que alcanza hasta partir el alma y el espíritu, y las coyunturas, y los tutanos; y que discierne los pensamientos y las intenciones del corazn.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Hebrew 4:12

    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, active; sufficient, if it be not actually hindered, to produce its effects; effectual, Philemon 6. See 2 Cor. x. 4; 1 Thess. ii. 13. And sharper than any two-edged sword; tomwterov uper, more cutting than. The word of God penetrates deeper into a man than any sword; it enters into the soul and spirit, into all our sensations, passions, appetites, nay, to our very thoughts; and sits as judge of the most secret intentions, contrivances, and sentiments of the heart. Phocylides has an expression very similar to our author, where he says, of reason, 'that it is a weapon which penetrates deeper into a man than a sword.' See also Isa. xl. 4; Eph. vi. 17; Revelation 1: 16; ii. 16.

    "Piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. - When the soul is thus distinguished from the spirit, by the former is meant that inferior faculty by which we think of and desire what concerns our present being and welfare. By spirit is meant a superior power by which we prefer future things to present, by which we are directed to pursue truth and right above all things, and even to despise what is agreeable to our present state, if it stand in competition with, or is prejudicial to, our future happiness. See 1 Thess. v. 23. Some have thought that by the expression before us is implied that the word of God is able to bring death, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira; for, say they, if the soul and spirit, or the joints and marrow are separated one from another, it is impossible that life can remain. But perhaps the meaning of the latter clause may rather be: 'It can divide the joints and divide the marrow; i.e. enter irresistibly into the soul, and produce some sentiment which perhaps it would not willingly have received; and sometimes discover and punish secret, as well as open wickedness.' Mr. Pierce observes that our author has been evidently arguing from a tremendous judgment of God upon the ancient Israelites, the ancestors of those to whom this epistle is directed; and in this verse, to press upon them that care and diligence he had been recommending, he sets before them the efficacy and virtue of the word of God, connecting this verse with the former by a for in the beginning of it; and therefore it is natural to suppose that what he says of the word of God may have a relation to somewhat remarkable in that sore punishment of which he had been speaking, particularly to the destruction of the people by lightning, or fire from heaven. See Lev. x. 1-5; Num. xi. 1-3, xvi. 35; Psa. lxxviii. 21. All the expressions in this view will receive an additional force, for nothing is more quick and living, more powerful and irresistible, sharp and piercing, than lightning. If this idea be admitted, the meaning of the last clause in this verse will be, 'That the word of God is a judge, to censure and punish the evil thoughts and intents of the heart.' And this brings the matter home to the exhortation with which our author began, chap. iii. 12, iii. 13; for under whatever disguise they might conceal themselves, yet, from such tremendous judgments as God executed upon their fathers, they might learn to judge as Moses did, Num. xxxii. 23: If ye will not do so, ye have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." See Hammond, Whitby, Sykes, and Pierce.

    Mr. Wesley's note on this verse is expressed with his usual precision and accuracy:- "For the word of God - preached, ver. 2, and armed with threatenings, ver. 3, is living and powerful - attended with the power of the living God, and conveying either life or death to the hearers; sharper than any two-edged sword - penetrating the heart more than this does the body; piercing quite through, and laying open, the soul and spirit, joints and marrow - the inmost recesses of the mind, which the apostle beautifully and strongly expresses by this heap of figurative words; and is a discerner, not only of the thoughts, but also of the intentions." The law, and the word of God in general, is repeatedly compared to a two-edged sword among the Jewish writers, twypyp yt brj chereb shetey piphiyoth, the sword with the two mouths. By this sword the man himself lives, and by it he destroys his enemies. This is implied in its two edges. See also Schoettgen.

    Is a discerner of the thoughts] kai kritikov enqumhsewn kai eunoiwn kardiav? Is a critic of the propensities and suggestions of the heart. How many have felt this property of God's word where it has been faithfully preached! How often has it happened that a man has seen the whole of his own character, and some of the most private transactions of his life, held up as it were to public view by the preacher; and yet the parties absolutely unknown to each other! Some, thus exhibited, have even supposed that their neighbours must have privately informed the preacher of their character and conduct; but it was the word of God, which, by the direction and energy of the Divine Spirit, thus searched them out, was a critical examiner of the propensities and suggestions of their hearts, and had pursued them through all their public haunts and private ways. Every genuine minister of the Gospel has witnessed such effects as these under his ministry in repeated instances.

    But while this effect of the word or true doctrine of God is acknowledged, let it not be supposed that it, of itself can produce such effects. The word of God is compared to a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces, Jer. xxiii. 29; but will a hammer break a stone unless it is applied by the skill and strength of some powerful agent? It is here compared to a two-edged sword; but will a sword cut or pierce to the dividing of joints and marrow, or separation of soul and spirit, unless some hand push and direct it? Surely, no. Nor can even the words and doctrine of God produce any effect but as directed by the experienced teacher, and applied by the Spirit of God. It is an instrument the most apt for the accomplishing of its work; but it will do nothing, can do nothing, but as used by the heavenly workman. To this is the reference in the next verse.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 12. For the word of God is quick and powerful , etc..] This is to be understood of Christ, the essential Word of God; for the Word of God was a known name of the Messiah among the Jews; (see Gill on John 1:1) and therefore the apostle makes use of it when writing to them: and the words are introduced as a reason why care should be taken, that men fall not off from the Gospel, because Christ, the author, sum, and substance of it, is the living God, omnipotent and omniscient; for not a thing, but a person is spoken of, who is a Judge, and a critical discerner of the secrets of men's hearts: and certain it is, that this Word is spoken of as a person, and is said to be a priest in the following verses; to which may be added, that the several things said of the Word exactly agree with Christ: he is the Word of God; as the word is the birth of the mind, he is the only begotten of the Father; he is the Word that spoke for the elect in the council and covenant of grace, and that spoke all things out of nothing in creation; he is the Word that has been promised, and spoken of by the prophets from the beginning of the world; and is the interpreter of his Father's mind, and our Advocate with the Father: he is quick , or, as it may be better rendered, living; he has life in himself as God, he is the living God; he is the living Redeemer and Mediator, and he lives for ever as man; he is the author and giver of life, natural, spiritual, and eternal: and he is powerful, as he appears to be in the creation and sustaining of all things; in his miracles and ministrations; in the work of man's redemption; in the preservation of his people, and in his advocacy and intercession: and sharper than any twoedged sword ; or more cutting than one, by the words of his mouth, by the power of his Spirit, and the efficacy of his grace; for his mouth itself is as a sharp sword, and out of it comes forth one, ( Isaiah 49:2 Revelation 19:13,15) by which he pierces the hearts of men, cuts them to the quick, and lays them open. Jehovah is called a twoedged sword with the Jews f59 ; and Philo the Jew speaks of the flaming sword of the Logos f60 . Piercing even to the dividing asunder soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow ; the like property Philo the Jew ascribes to the Logos, or Word; he calls him tomeuv , a cutter, and says he cuts and divides all things, even all sensible things, yea, atoms, and things indivisible f61 ; the apostle seems here to have respect to the several names with which the soul of man is called by the Jews, hmnw jwr qn , soul, spirit, and breath f62 ; the latter of these, they say, dwells between the other two. Some by the soul understand the natural and unregenerate part in man, and by the spirit the renewed and regenerate part, which though sometimes are not so easily distinguished by men, yet they are by Christ; others think the soul designs the inferior faculties, the affections; and the spirit the superior ones, the mind and understanding; but the apostle's meaning seems to be this, that whereas the soul and spirit are invisible, and the joints and marrow are covered and hid; so sharp and quick sighted, and so penetrating is the divine Word, that it reaches the most secret and hidden things of men: and this sense is confirmed by what follows, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart ; Christ knows what is in man; he is the searcher of the hearts, and the trier of the reins of the children of men; and this will be more apparent at the last day, when he will make manifest the counsels of the heart, and will critically inquire, and accurately judge of them.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 11-16 - Observe the end proposed:
    rest spiritual and eternal; the rest of grac here, and glory hereafter; in Christ on earth, with Christ in heaven After due and diligent labour, sweet and satisfying rest shall follow and labour now, will make that rest more pleasant when it comes. Let u labour, and quicken each other to be diligent in duty. The Holy Scriptures are the word of God. When God sets it home by his Spirit, i convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. I makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a pervers spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that are become as in were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated an cut off by this sword. It will discover to men their thoughts an purposes, the vileness of many, the bad principles they are moved by the sinful ends they act to. The word will show the sinner all that is in his heart. Let us hold fast the doctrines of Christian faith in ou heads, its enlivening principles in our hearts, the open profession of it in our lips, and be subject to it in our lives. Christ executed on part of his priesthood on earth, in dying for us; the other he execute in heaven, pleading the cause, and presenting the offerings of his people. In the sight of Infinite Wisdom, it was needful that the Saviour of men should be one who has the fellow-feeling which no being but a fellow-creature could possibly have; and therefore it wa necessary he should actual experience of all the effects of sin tha could be separated from its actual guilt. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Ro 8:3; but the more holy and pure he was the more he must have been unwilling in his nature to sin, and mus have had deeper impression of its evil; consequently the more must he be concerned to deliver his people from its guilt and power. We shoul encourage ourselves by the excellence of our High Priest, to com boldly to the throne of grace. Mercy and grace are the things we want mercy to pardon all our sins, and grace to purify our souls. Beside our daily dependence upon God for present supplies, there are season for which we should provide in our prayers; times of temptation, eithe by adversity or prosperity, and especially our dying time. We are to come with reverence and godly fear, yet not as if dragged to the sea of justice, but as kindly invited to the mercy-seat, where grac reigns. We have boldness to enter into the holiest only by the blood of Jesus; he is our Advocate, and has purchased all our souls want or can desire __________________________________________________________________


    Greek Textus Receptus


    ζων
    2198 5723 γαρ 1063 ο 3588 λογος 3056 του 3588 θεου 2316 και 2532 ενεργης 1756 και 2532 τομωτερος 5114 υπερ 5228 πασαν 3956 μαχαιραν 3162 διστομον 1366 και 2532 διικνουμενος 1338 5740 αχρι 891 μερισμου 3311 ψυχης 5590 τε 5037 και 2532 πνευματος 4151 αρμων 719 τε 5037 και 2532 μυελων 3452 και 2532 κριτικος 2924 ενθυμησεων 1761 και 2532 εννοιων 1771 καρδιας 2588

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    12. The exhortation is enforced by
    reference to the character of the revelation which sets forth the rest of God. The message of God which promises the rest and urges to seek it, is no dead, formal precept, but is instinct with living energy.

    The word of God (o Logov tou Qeou). That which God speaks through any medium. The primary reference is to God's declarations concerning his rest. The fathers explained it of the personal Word as in the Fourth Gospel. But in the Epistle there is no approach to any definite use of logov with reference to Christ, not even in the description of his relation to God in ch. 1, where, if anywhere, it might have been expected. In ch. vi. 5 and xi. 3 we find rJhma. Everywhere in the Epistle Christ appears as the Son, not as the Word. In this passage, the following predicates, ejnerghv, tomwterov, kritikov, would hardly be applied to the Logos, and in ver. 14 he is styled Jesus the Son of God.

    Quick and powerful (zwn kai energhv). Note the emphatic position of zwn living. Living is the word of God, since it is the word of "the living God" (ch. iii. 12). Living in its essence. For ejnerghv active, energizing, and kindred words, see on John i. 12; Philip. iii. 21; Col. i. 29; Philemon 6. Manifesting itself actively in the world and in men's hearts. Comp. 1 Pet. i. 23.

    Sharper than any two-edged sword (tomwterov uper pasan macairan distomon). Tomwterov sharper from temnein to cut, N.T.o . o LXX. The word of God has an incisive and penetrating quality. It lays bare self-delusions and moral sophisms. For the comparison of the word of God or of men to a sword, see Psalm lvii. 4; lix. 7; lxiv. 3; Eph. vi. 17. Philo calls his Logos oJ tomeuv the cutter, as cutting chaos into distinct things, and so creating a kosmos. JUper than, is literally, above. Pasan any, is every. Dismoton only here and Apoc. i. 16; ii. 12, lit. two-mouthed. In LXX always of a sword. See Judg. iii. 16; Psalm cxlix. 6; Prov. v. 4; Sir. xxi. 3. In Class. of a cave with a twofold mouth (Soph. Philoct. 16); of double-branching roads (Soph. Oed. Col. 900); of rivers with two mouths (Polyb. xxxiv. 10, 5). Stoma mouth, of the edge of a sword, Luke xxi. 24; Heb. xi. 34. Often in LXX, as Gen. xxxiv. 26; Joshua x. 28, 33, 35, 37, 39; Judg. i. 8. So occasionally in Class., as Homer, Il. 15. 389. Katesqiein or katesqein to devour is used of the sword, Deut. xxxii. 42; 2 Sam. ii. 26; Isa. xxxi. 8; Jer. ii. 30, etc. Macaira sword, in Class. a dirk or dagger: rarely, a carving knife; later, a bent sword or sabre as contrasted with a straight, thrusting sword, xifov (not in N.T. but occasionally in LXX). JRomfaia, Luke ii. 35 (see note), elsewhere only in Revelation, very often in LXX, is a large broadsword. In LXX of Goliath's sword, 1 Sam. xvii. 51 Piercing (diiknoumenov). Lit. coming through. N.T.o .

    Even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow (arci merismou yuchv kai pneumatov armwn te kai muelwn).Merismov dividing, only here and ch. ii. 4, is not to be understood of dividing soul from spirit or joints from marrow. Soul and spirit cannot be said to be separated in any such sense as this, and joints and marrow are not in contact with each other. Merismov is the act of division; not the point or line of division. Joints and marrow are not to be taken in a literal and material sense. 184 In rendering, construe soul, spirit, joints, marrow, as all dependent on dividing. Joints and marrow (aJrmwn, muelwn, N.T.o ) are to be taken figuratively as joints and marrow of soul and spirit. This figurative sense is exemplified in classical usage, as Eurip. Hippol. 255, "to form moderate friendships, and not prov arkon muelon yuchv to the deep marrow of the soul." The conception of depth applied to the soul is on the same figurative line. See Aesch. Agam. 778; Eurip. Bacch. 203. Attempts to explain on any psychological basis are futile. The form of expression is poetical, and signifies that the word penetrates to the inmost recesses of our spiritual being as a sword cuts through the joints and marrow of the body. The separation is not of one part from another, but operates in each department of the spiritual nature. The expression is expanded and defined by the next clause.

    A discerner (kritikov). N.T.o . o LXX. The word carries on the thought of dividing. From krinein to divide or separate, which runs into the sense of judge, the usual meaning in N.T., judgment involving the sifting out and analysis of evidence. In kritikov the ideas of discrimination and judgment are blended. Vulg. discretor.

    Of the thoughts and intents of the heart (enqumhsewn kai ennoiwn kardiav). The A.V. is loose and inaccurate. jEnqumhsis rare in N.T. See Matt. ix. 4; Acts xvii. 29. Comp. ejnqumeisqai, Matt. i. 20; ix. 4. In every instance, both of the noun and of the verb, the sense is pondering or thinking out. Rend. the reflections. Ennoia only here and 1 Pet. iv. 1. It is the definite conception which follows ejnqumhsiv Rend. conceptions.



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    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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