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Chapter 4:12. Two­edged sword, etc Whether the penetrating, or convincing, or killing power of the “word” is set forth by the metaphor of the “sword,” has been controverted. Beza and Scott, as well as Calvin, regard its convincing and killing power as intended. “It enters,” says Beta, “into the inmost recesses of the soul, so that it indicts on the perverse a deadly wound, and by killing the old man quickens into life the elect.” Stuart views its killing power as alone intended: “The sense is,” he observes, “that the divine commination is of most deadly punitive efficacy.”

Now, if the whole passage be duly considered in connection with what is gone before, there will appear a sufficient reason to conclude, that the metaphor of “the sword “is only intended to shew that the “word” reaches to all the inward workings of the soul, that it extends to the motives and the most hidden thoughts and purposes of the heart. The last clause in the 12th verse clearly explains what is meant by the “sword;” and this is further confirmed by the following verse, where it is said that all things are naked and open to God, of whose word he speaks, and with whom we have to do. All this seems to concur with the purpose for which the words were introduced, that is, to warn the Hebrews of the danger of listening to the seductive and deceiving power of sin.

As to the 13th verse, Bloomfield suggests a transposition which would render the transition from God’s word to God himself much more easy, “Moreover there exists no creature that is not manifest in the sight of him with whom we have to do; but all things are naked and exposed to his eyes.” But the construction here is similar to what we have noticed in two previous instances, chapter 2:9, and 17, 18; the first and the last clause are connected, and the two middle clauses.

The last sentence is rendered by Grotius, “of whom is our word, i.e., of whom we speak; by Beza, “with whom we have to do; by Doddridge, Macknight, and Stuart, “to whom we must give an account.” Wherever λόγος signifies “account,” the verb “to render,” or a similar verb is connected with it. There are two instances in the Sept. where it stands alone with a pronoun in the dative case as here, and it means business, affair, or concern: see Judges 18:28, and 2 Kings 9:5. In the last passage it is connected also, as here, with the preposition πρὸς. There can therefore be no doubt but that our version is the right one, “with whom we have to do,” or literally, “with whom there is to us a concern.” There is no usus loquendi, as pleaded by some, in favor of the other meaning.

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