Ancient Hebrew swords.
Examples of ancient Hebrew swords

Swords in the Bible

Hebrew: חֶרֶב —transliteration: Chereb —meaning: sword (and mentioned 413 times in the Old Testament)

Greek: μάχαιραν —transliteration: machairan —meaning: a slaughter-knife or a short sword or dagger —occurrences: 29 times in the New Testament

Hebrew swords were pointed, sometimes two-edged, were worn in a sheath, and suspended from the girdle (belt) (Exodus 32:27; 1 Samuel 31:4; 1 Chronicles 21:27; Psalm 149:6: Proverbs 5:4; Ezek. 16:40; 21:3-5).

flaming sword illustration. Photo © copyrighted. Licensed.

A FLAMING SWORD is a sword which is glowing with a flame produced by God’s supernatural power.

So He [God] drove the man [Adam and Eve] out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the The Tree of Life. —Genesis 3:24

A sword is sometimes a symbol of divine chastisement (Deuteronomy 32:25; Psalm 7:12).

He also delivered His people to the sword,
And was filled with wrath at His inheritance. —Psalm 78:62

It is also a symbol of a slanderous tongue (Psalm 57:4; 64:3).

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing. —Proverbs 12:18 NASB

Roman gladius. Photo by Rama. License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Roman gladius (a short, two-edged sword) used by Roman foot soldiers from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD / This sword was designed for stabbing and slashing. A longer Roman sword was the spatha—24 to 30 inches long (60-75 cm). A modern English word derived from gladius is gladiator (meaning: swordsman).

The word of God is also likened to a sword.

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. —Hebrews 4:12 NASB

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. —Ephesians 6:14-17 NASB

In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. —Revelation 1:16 NASB

Gideon’s watchword was, “The sword of the Lord” (Judges 7:20).

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Article Version: October 24, 2023