Original Research

The sword motif 'n Matthew 10:34

David C. Sim
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 56, No 1 | a1698 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v56i1.1698 | © 2000 David C. Sim | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 2000 | Published: 14 December 2000

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Abstract

'n Mathew 10:34 Jesus uters a very dificult saying. He claims that he has not come to bring peace, but a sword. The form of this saying does not trace back to the historical Jesus; it is the product of Matthew's redaction of a Q passage which is found 'n a more original form 'n Luke 12:51. What did the evangelist mean when he wrote that Jesus brought a sword? 'n the Hebrew scriptures the sword was acommon symbol for the judgement and punishment of God, and 'n later times it represented a number of themes associated with the eschaton. It is argued 'n this study that Mathew, who was fully immersed 'n the apocalyptic-eschatological traditions of his day, probably used the sword motif 'n Matthew 10:34 to symbolise anumber of important eschatological events.

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