The Sword of Judgment

First let's set out the meaning of certain symbols and relate them to scripture. When you speak of the Word of God, you are speaking of God himself. As in John 1

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This is reinforced by other verses like Revelation 19:13, speaking of Jesus.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Next we need to see that the Word is also shown to be a sword.

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.

The quote from Ephesians identifies the word as a sword. The one from Revelation illustrates this same idea, showing the sword coming out of his mouth as a word would come out when spoken.

The sword also speaks of judgment, of course. Here is an example from Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

Here are two examples where we see the Angel of the Lord, who is the Lord himself, appearing with the sword of judgment. In each case the response of God's people is repentance and worship.

1 Chronicles 21:15-16

15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

Joshua 5:13-14

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

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