d 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 ( ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ )
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 λόγος with reference to Christ, not even in the description of his relation to God in Hebrews 1:1-14, where, if anywhere, it might have been expected. In Hebrews 6:5and Hebrews 11:3we find ῥῆμα . Everywhere in the Epistle Christ appears as the Son, not as the Word. In this passage, the following predicates, ἐνεργὴς, τομώτερος, κριτικὸς , would hardly be applied to the Logos, and in Hebrews 4:14he is styled Jesus the Son of God.
Quick and powerful ( ζῶν καὶ ἐνεργὴς )
Note the emphatic position of ζῶν livingLiving is the word of God, since it is the word of “the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). Living in its essence. For ἐνεργὴς activeenergizing, and kindred words, see on John 1:12; see on Philemon 3:21; see on Colossians 1:29; see on Philemon 1:6. Manifesting itself actively in the world and in men's hearts. Comp. 1 Peter 1:23.
Sharper than any two-edged sword ( τομώτερος ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν μάχαιραν δίστομον )
Τομώτερος sharperfrom τέμνειν tocut, N.T.oolxx. 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 Psalms 57:4; Psalms 59:7; Psalms 64:3; Ephesians 6:17. Philo calls his Logos ὁ τομεύς thecutter, as cutting chaos into distinct things, and so creating a kosmos. Ὑπὲρ thanis literally, above. Πᾶσαν anyis every. Δίσμοτον only here and Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12, lit. two-mouthed. In lxx always of a sword. See Judges 3:16; Psalms 149:6; Proverbs 5:4; Colossians 900); of rivers with two mouths (Polyb. xxxiv. 10,5). Στόμα mouthof the edge of a sword, Luke href="/desk/?q=lu+21:24&sr=1">Luke 21:24; Hebrews 11:34. Often in lxx, as Genesis 34:26; Joshua 10:28, Joshua 10:33, Joshua 10:35, Joshua 10:37, Joshua 10:39; Judges 1:8. So occasionally in Class., as Homer, Il. xv. 389. Κατεσθίειν or κατέσθειν todevour is used of the sword, Deuteronomy 32:42; 2 Samuel 2:26; Isaiah 31:8; Jeremiah 2:30, etc. Μάχαιρα swordin Class. a dirk or dagger: rarely, a carving knife; later, a bent sword or sabre as contrasted with a straight, thrusting sword, ξίφος (not in N.T. but occasionally in lxx). Ῥομφαία , Luke 2:35(see note), elsewhere only in Revelation, very often in lxx, is a large broadsword. In lxx of Goliath's sword, 1 Samuel 17:51
Piercing ( διΐκνούμενος )
Lit. coming through. N.T.oEven to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow ( ἄρχι μερισμοῦ ψυχῆς καὶ πνεύματος ἁρμῶν τε καὶ μυελῶν )
Μερισμὸς dividingonly here and Hebrews 2:4, 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. Μερισμὸς 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. In rendering, construe soul, spirit, joints, marrow, as all dependent on dividing. Joints and marrow ( ἁρμῶν, μυελῶν, 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 πρὸς ἄρκον μυελὸν ψυχῆς 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 ( κριτικὸς )
N.T.oolxx. The word carries on the thought of dividing. From κρίνειν todivide 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 κριτικὸς the ideas of discrimination and judgment are blended. Vulg. discretor.
Of the thoughts and intents of the heart ( ἐνθυμήσεων καὶ ἐννοιῶν καρδίας )
The A.V. is loose and inaccurate. Ἐνθύμησις rare in N.T. See Matthew 9:4; Acts 17:29. Comp. ἐνθυμεῖσθαι , Matthew 1:20; Matthew 9:4. In every instance, both of the noun and of the verb, the sense is pondering or thinking out. Rend. the reflections. Ἔννοια only here and 1 Peter 4:1. It is the definite conception which follows ἐνθύμησις Rend. conceptions.