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Hebrews 4:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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 quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For the word of God [is] living and operative, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and penetrating to [the] division of soul and spirit, both of joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of [the] heart.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, living, is the word of God, and, energetic, and more cutting than any knife with two edges, and penetrating as far as a dividing asunder of soul and spirit, of joints also, and marrow, and able to judge the impulses and designs of the heart;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— for the reckoning of God is living, and working, and sharp above every two-edged sword, and piercing unto the dividing asunder both of soul and spirit, of joints also and marrow, and a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For the word of God is quicke and powerfull, and sharper then any two edged sword, pearcing euen to the diuiding asunder of soule and spirit, and of the ioynts and marrowe, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For living is the Word of Aloha, and all-acting, and more penetrating than a two-edged sword, and entereth to the separation of the soul and the spirit, and of the joints, and of the marrow, and the bones, and discerneth the reasonings and counsel of the heart.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For the word of God is living, and all-efficient, and sharper than a two-edged sword, and entereth even to the severance of the soul and the spirit, and of the joints and the marrow and the bones, and judgeth the thoughts and reasonings of the heart:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
word 3056
{3056} Prime
λόγος
logos
{log'-os}
From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ).
of God 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
[is] quick, 2198
{2198} Prime
ζάω
zao
{dzah'-o}
A primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
powerful, 1756
{1756} Prime
ἐνεργής
energes
{en-er-gace'}
From G1722 and G2041; active, operative.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
sharper 5114
{5114} Prime
τομώτερος
tomoteros
{tom-o'-ter-os}
Comparative of a derivative of the primary word τέμνω [[temno]] (to cut; more comprehensive or decisive than G2875, as if by a single stroke; whereas that implies repeated blows, like hacking); more keen.
than 5228
{5228} Prime
ὑπέρ
huper
{hoop-er'}
A primary preposition; 'over', that is, (with the genitive case) of place, above, beyond, across, or causal, for the sake of, instead, regarding; with the accusative case superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications.
any 3956
{3956} Prime
πᾶς
pas
{pas}
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
twoedged 1366
{1366} Prime
δίστομος
distomos
{dis'-tom-os}
From G1364 and G4750; double edged.
sword, 3162
{3162} Prime
μάχαιρα
machaira
{makh'-ahee-rah}
Probably feminine of a presumed derivative of G3163; a knife, that is, dirk; figuratively war, judicial punishment.
piercing 1338
{1338} Prime
διϊκνέομαι
diikneomai
{dee-ik-neh'-om-ahee}
From G1223 and the base of G2425; to reach through, that is, penetrate.
z5740
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
even x2532
(2532) Complement
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
to 891
{0891} Prime
ἄχρι
achri
{akh'-ree}
Akin to G0206 (through the idea of a terminus); (of time) until or (of place) up to.
the dividing asunder 3311
{3311} Prime
μερισμός
merismos
{mer-is-mos'}
From G3307; a separation or distribution.
of x5037
(5037) Complement
τέ
te
{teh}
A primary particle (enclitic) of connection or addition; both or also (properly as a correlation of G2532).
soul 5590
{5590} Prime
ψυχή
psuche
{psoo-khay'}
From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416].
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
y5037
[5037] Standard
τέ
te
{teh}
A primary particle (enclitic) of connection or addition; both or also (properly as a correlation of G2532).
spirit, 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
and 5037
{5037} Prime
τέ
te
{teh}
A primary particle (enclitic) of connection or addition; both or also (properly as a correlation of G2532).
y2532
[2532] Standard
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
of the joints 719
{0719} Prime
ἁρμός
harmos
{har-mos'}
From the same as G0716; an articulation (of the body).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
marrow, 3452
{3452} Prime
μυελός
muelos
{moo-el-os'}
Perhaps a primary word; the marrow.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
[is] a discerner 2924
{2924} Prime
κριτικός
kritikos
{krit-ee-kos'}
From G2923; decisive ('critical'), that is, discriminative.
of the thoughts 1761
{1761} Prime
ἐνθύμησις
enthumesis
{en-thoo'-may-sis}
From G1760; deliberation.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
intents 1771
{1771} Prime
ἔννοια
ennoia
{en'-noy-ah}
From a compound of G1722 and G3563; thoughtfulness, that is, moral understanding.
of the heart. 2588
{2588} Prime
καρδία
kardia
{kar-dee'-ah}
Prolonged from a primary κάρ [[kar]] (Latin cor, 'heart'); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Hebrews 4:12

_ _ For — Such diligent striving (Hebrews 4:11) is incumbent on us FOR we have to do with a God whose “word” whereby we shall be judged, is heart-searching, and whose eyes are all-seeing (Hebrews 4:13). The qualities here attributed to the word of God, and the whole context, show that it is regarded in its JUDICIAL power, whereby it doomed the disobedient Israelites to exclusion from Canaan, and shall exclude unbelieving so-called Christians from the heavenly rest. The written Word of God is not the prominent thought here, though the passage is often quoted as if it were. Still the word of God (the same as that preached, Hebrews 4:2), used here in the broadest sense, but with special reference to its judicial power, INCLUDES the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit with double edge, one edge for convicting and converting some (Hebrews 4:2), and the other for condemning and destroying the unbelieving (Hebrews 4:14). Revelation 19:15 similarly represents the Word’s judicial power as a sharp sword going out of Christ’s mouth to smite the nations. The same word which is saving to the faithful (Hebrews 4:2) is destroying to the disobedient (2 Corinthians 2:15, 2 Corinthians 2:16). The personal Word, to whom some refer the passage, is not here meant: for He is not the sword, but has the sword. Thus reference to Joshua appropriately follows in Hebrews 4:8.

_ _ quickGreek, “living”; having living power, as “the rod of the mouth and the breath of the lips” of “the living God.”

_ _ powerfulGreek, “energetic”; not only living, but energetically efficacious.

_ _ sharper — “more cutting.”

_ _ two-edged — sharpened at both edge and back. Compare “sword of the Spirit ... word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Its double power seems to be implied by its being “two-edged.” “It judges all that is in the heart, for there it passes through, at once punishing [unbelievers] and searching [both believers and unbelievers]” [Chrysostom]. Philo similarly speaks of “God passing between the parts of Abraham’s sacrifices (Genesis 15:17, where, however, it is a ‘burning lamp’ that passed between the pieces) with His word, which is the cutter of all things: which sword, being sharpened to the utmost keenness, never ceases to divide all sensible things, and even things not perceptible to sense or physically divisible, but perceptible and divisible by the word.” Paul’s early training, both in the Greek schools of Tarsus and the Hebrew schools at Jerusalem, accounts fully for his acquaintance with Philo’s modes of thought, which were sure to be current among learned Jews everywhere, though Philo himself belonged to Alexandria, not Jerusalem. Addressing Jews, he by the Spirit sanctions what was true in their current literature, as he similarly did in addressing Gentiles (Acts 17:28).

_ _ piercingGreek, “coming through.”

_ _ even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit — that is, reaching through even to the separation of the animal soul, the lower part of man’s incorporeal nature, the seat of animal desires, which he has in common with the brutes; compare the same Greek, 1 Corinthians 2:14, “the natural [animal-souled] man” (Jude 1:19), from the spirit (the higher part of man, receptive of the Spirit of God, and allying him to heavenly beings).

_ _ and of the joints and marrow — rather, “(reaching even TO) both the joints (so as to divide them) and marrow.” Christ “knows what is in man” (John 2:25): so His word reaches as far as to the most intimate and accurate knowledge of man’s most hidden parts, feelings, and thoughts, dividing, that is, distinguishing what is spiritual from what is carnal and animal in him, the spirit from the soul: so Proverbs 20:27. As the knife of the Levitical priest reached to dividing parts, closely united as the joints of the limbs, and penetrated to the innermost parts, as the marrows (the Greek is plural); so the word of God divides the closely joined parts of man’s immaterial being, soul and spirit, and penetrates to the innermost parts of the spirit. The clause (reaching even to) “both the joints and marrow” is subordinate to the clause, “even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” (In the oldest manuscripts as in English Version, there is no “both,” as there is in the clause “both the joints and ... which marks the latter to be subordinate). An image (appropriate in addressing Jews) from the literal dividing of joints, and penetrating to, so as to open out, the marrow, by the priest’s knife, illustrating the previously mentioned spiritual “dividing of soul from spirit,” whereby each (soul as well as spirit) is laid bare and “naked” before God; this view accords with Hebrews 4:13. Evidently “the dividing of the soul from the spirit” answers to the “joints” which the sword, when it reaches unto, divides asunder, as the “spirit” answers to the innermost “marrow.” “Moses forms the soul, Christ the spirit. The soul draws with it the body; the spirit draws with it both soul and body.” Alford’s interpretation is clumsy, by which he makes the soul itself, and the spirit itself, to be divided, instead of the soul from the spirit: so also he makes not only the joints to be divided asunder, but the marrow also to be divided (?). The Word’s dividing and far penetrating power has both a punitive and a healing effect.

_ _ discerner of the thoughtsGreek, “capable of judging the purposes.”

_ _ intents — rather, “conceptions” [Crellius]; “ideas” [Alford]. AS the Greek for “thoughts” refers to the mind and feelings, so that for “intents,” or rather “mental conceptions,” refers to the intellect.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Hebrews 4:11-16.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God — Preached, Hebrews 4:2, and armed with threatenings, Hebrews 4:3. 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.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Hebrews 4:12

(4) For the (e) word of God [is] (f) quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of (g) soul and (h) spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

(4) An amplification taken from the nature of the word of God, so powerful that it enters even to the deepest and most inward and secret parts of the heart, fatally wounding the stubborn, and openly reviving the believers.

(e) The doctrine of God which is preached both in the law and in the gospel.

(f) He calls the word of God living, because of the effect it has on those to whom it is preached.

(g) He calls the seat of emotions "soul".

(h) By "spirit" he means the mind.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the word:

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.
Isaiah 49:2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

is quick:

Psalms 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise [are] as goads, and as nails fastened [by] the masters of assemblies, [which] are given from one shepherd.
Isaiah 55:11 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.
Jeremiah 23:29 [Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) ... Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
1 Peter 2:4-5 To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious, ... Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
*Gr.

sharper:

Psalms 45:3 Gird thy sword upon [thy] thigh, O [most] mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
Psalms 149:6 [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
Proverbs 5:4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isaiah 49:2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 5:33 When they heard [that], they were cut [to the heart], and took counsel to slay them.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

and is:

Psalms 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: ... And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on [his] face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
Ephesians 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
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Ps 45:3; 110:2; 119:130; 139:2; 149:6. Pv 5:4. Ec 12:11. Is 11:4; 49:2; 55:11. Jr 17:10; 23:29. Lk 8:11. Jn 6:51. Ac 2:37; 4:31; 5:33. Ro 1:16. 1Co 1:24; 14:24. 2Co 2:17; 4:2; 10:4. Ep 5:13; 6:17. 1Th 2:13. He 13:7. Jm 1:18. 1P 1:23; 2:4. Rv 1:16; 2:16, 23; 19:15, 21; 20:4.

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