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Commentary On Hebrews by Jean Calvin

APPENDIX Q

|Quick| or living, and |powerful| or efficacious, are regarded by many as meaning nearly the same thing; but |living| designates what is valid, what continues in force, as opposed to what is dead and no longer existing; and |efficacious| refers to the effect, capable of producing the effect designed. Exclusion from rest as to unbelievers was still living, still in force, abiding the same without any change. See 1 Peter 1:23, 25. It was also in full power so as effectually to exclude from rest all who did not believe. And then to prevent every evasion, so that no one might think a mere profession sufficient, or rather to guard against the incipient seduction of sin, he compares this |word| to a sword which can dissect the whole wellcompacted frame of man, so that even the very marrow may be discovered; and then passing from this simile, he says that this |word| is capable of judging the thoughts and purposes of the heart. And in order to identify as it were this |word| with God himself; he immediately refers to God's omniscience. The design of the Apostle seems to have been to guard the Hebrews against the deceitfulness of sin; so that they might not give heed to any of its hidden suggestions.

Stuart makes the transition from the |word| to God at the end of the twelfth verse, and renders the clause thus, |He also judgeth the thoughts and purposes of the heart.| But this clause may more properly be viewed as explanatory of what is said of the two-edged sword.

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