Question for Protestants:Sword of Simeon


#1

I am interested in hearing how the Protestants here would explain Luke 2:35 when Simeon tells Mary that:

“And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

This is a biblical prophesy, so I assume its fulfillment would have to be contained in the bible. How would you interpret this, and do you have any scriptural support for your interpretation?

Thal59


#2

[quote=Thal59]I am interested in hearing how the Protestants here would explain Luke 2:35 when Simeon tells Mary that:

“And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

This is a biblical prophesy, so I assume its fulfillment would have to be contained in the bible. How would you interpret this, and do you have any scriptural support for your interpretation?

Thal59
[/quote]

Christs passion is the sword that pierces Mary’s heart.


#3

[quote=SolaChristo]Christs passion is the sword that pierces Mary’s heart.
[/quote]

The scriptures obviously point this out in regards to Mary. Why? It truly must have much meaning. I’m curious as to the Protestant answer to this also.


#4

[quote=SolaChristo]Christs passion is the sword that pierces Mary’s heart.
[/quote]

That may be true, but is it not true of any mother whose offspring was tortured, executed, or crucified?

If this is what Simeon meant, it is a rather shallow prophecy considering the commonality of torture and death that occured in those times.

Does anyone else have anything to add?

Thal59


#5

[quote=Superstar905]The scriptures obviously point this out in regards to Mary. Why? It truly must have much meaning. I’m curious as to the Protestant answer to this also.
[/quote]

Why does it have to have a lot of meaning?


#6

[quote=SolaChristo]Why does it have to have a lot of meaning?
[/quote]

The presence of Simeon and his words are unique. He does not speak to Joseph at all! He speaks only to Mary. (Something almost scandalous for the times.) He speaks a “biblical” prophecy concerning Jesus… understandable enough, but then he offers a prophecy directly at Mary. So there must be a “unique” time that this prophecy was fulfilled in scripture. A sword piercing a soul must have unique meaning, or else why a sword and why something so spiritual as the soul itself?

In relation, though, to your question… “Why does it have to have a lot of meaning?” One can ask back, how many prophecies of the bible had little meaning? Or, why speak a prophecy about Mary at all if, as many Protestants believe, she is merely a “favored” Jewish girl?

Thal59


#7

If this is going against what you intended for this thread, let me know, but I’m a Catholic and I’ve never heard this verse explained very well. What is the Catholic interpretation of this verse and its prophecy?


#8

22When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”**), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Ephesians 6:17
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Romans 2:12
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

Off the top of my head, the sword that will pierce Mary’s heart is the word of God and that word reveals the sin in Mary’s heart —
“the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”

2 Corinthians 5:10
for all of us it behoveth to be manifested before the tribunal of the Christ, that each one may receive the things ‘done’ through the body, in reference to the things that he did, whether good or evil; (YLT)

But, I will have to do some reading and thinking.

:D**


#9

[quote=Thal59]The presence of Simeon and his words are unique. He does not speak to Joseph at all! He speaks only to Mary. (Something almost scandalous for the times.) He speaks a “biblical” prophecy concerning Jesus… understandable enough, but then he offers a prophecy directly at Mary. So there must be a “unique” time that this prophecy was fulfilled in scripture. A sword piercing a soul must have unique meaning, or else why a sword and why something so spiritual as the soul itself?

In relation, though, to your question… “Why does it have to have a lot of meaning?” One can ask back, how many prophecies of the bible had little meaning? Or, why speak a prophecy about Mary at all if, as many Protestants believe, she is merely a “favored” Jewish girl?

Thal59
[/quote]

Was Joseph there?


#10

Mary’s suffering is more intimately tied to Christ’s in this passage than any other person’s suffering in the bible. The words that are the most mysterious " so that the secret thoughts of many shall be revealed" . Simeon seems to be refering to the effect that sword piercing a heart would have, and have on ‘many’. To me it means that the sword will circumsize hearts and maybe at the cross hers is the first.


#11

[quote=Benadam]Mary’s suffering is more intimately tied to Christ’s in this passage than any other person’s suffering in the bible. The words that are the most mysterious " so that the secret thoughts of many shall be revealed" . Simeon seems to be refering to the effect that sword piercing a heart would have, and have on ‘many’. To me it means that the sword will circumsize hearts and maybe at the cross hers is the first it will purify.
[/quote]

He was bruised for our transgressions, He was wounded for our inequities, the chastisement needfull for us to obtain peace and well being was laid upon Him, by His stripes we are healed and made whole. Praise God!!! Thank You Jesus. It is your sufferings and death that has saved us. For it is by You and You alone that we are saved.


#12

33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

from the grammar, what is to happen to Mary is no more than what will happen to any of the Many people spoke of.

And, Yes Joseph was here to hear this message. But, the gospels do not record Joseph as being at the Cross.


#13

These are just thoughts off the top of my head.

One, it was Mary’s heart that would be pierced because ANY mother’s would be at what she saw her child go thru…and secondly, Joseph wasn’t even around for the Passion…so his wasn’t pierced by it.

Two, I’ve always assumed the “that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed” alluded to Salvation and Judgement Day.

IOW, “Mary, you are going to suffer so much as a mother so that the mankind can provided with Salvation on Judgement Day when all will have their thoughts and deeds known and judged.”

At least that’s how I’ve always interpreted it! :smiley:

-Dawn


#14

[quote=SolaChristo]He was bruised for our transgressions, He was wounded for our inequities, the chastisement needfull for us to obtain peace and well being was laid upon Him, by His stripes we are healed and made whole. Praise God!!! Thank You Jesus. It is your sufferings and death that has saved us. For it is by You and You alone that we are saved.
[/quote]

To which Catholics would say - “Amen”!


#15

[quote=Thal59]I am interested in hearing how the Protestants here would explain Luke 2:35 when Simeon tells Mary that:

“And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

This is a biblical prophesy, so I assume its fulfillment would have to be contained in the bible. How would you interpret this, and do you have any scriptural support for your interpretation?

Thal59
[/quote]

Although I haven’t studied these verses carefully through commentaries, it would seem that the passage is stating that Christ’s crucifixion and death would reveal the thoughts and hearts of many[first the Jews and later the Gentiles]. Some will believe and some will not. Some will love the Lord and some will not. The part that Mary’s sorrow plays in this seems to be as one of great contrast to those that refuse to believe and love the Lord. Mary’s love and sorrow serves as the Christian model and serves as a stark contrast and backdrop that more clearly reveals the opposite extreme of rejection and non-belief in Jesus.

P.S. I’m Catholic but thought I would throw my 2 cents in anyway.


#16

I don’t mind if a Catholic joins in because I have not heard a definitive Catholic explanation either. But that’s not the problem right now.

Here is the way the passage has been rendered twice in this thread…

33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

Let me blend the text for a moment to show whats wrong here…

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

In other words, the text is corrupted to imply that the “revealing of many hearts” clause is a part of the prophecy regarding the child (Jesus) whereas the second clause, which becomes an independent sentence… “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Diminishes Mary’s role in this prophecy in a sort of “by-the-way” fashion… Oh, yeah, uh you will be hurt too.

Lets look at Luke 2:35 from the older bibles:

Douey-Rheims
"And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed."

King James (1610)
“Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

The elements of the sword, the soul, thoughts, hearts, and revealed are a part of the Marian portion of the prophecy…

Latin Vulgate
et tuam ipsius animam pertransiet gladius (sword) ut revelentur ex multis cordibus (hearts) cogitationes (thoughts; as in cogitate)

Byzantine Majority Greek
kai sou de autês tên psuchên dieleusetai romphaia opôs an apokaluphthôsin ek pollôn kardiôn (hearts) dialogismoi.

Therefore…

34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Is a corrupted text by placing the “thoughts of many hearts” BEFORE the piercing of the sword.

As if it isn’t hard enough to debate scripture between Protestant and Catholic bibles!

Which bible has corrupted Luke 2:34 -35? I hope it isn’t a Catholic bible.

Thal59


#17

Just some thoughts I had:

When Christ’s heart was pierced by the lance, Mary’s heart was pierced by the sword. Yes of course any mother would be crushed by such things, but now the ‘handmaiden of the Lord’ whose soul ‘magnifies the Lord’ is now being humbled at the foot of the Cross to such an extent that only one other person in history ever humbled himself more: Jesus.
Mary’s heart ‘reveals the thoughts of many’ because Mary’s role in salvation is so significant that God has elevated her to the level of mediatrix of graces.
Perhaps the thoughts that her heart ‘reveals’ are our thoughts to God so to speak. Yes of course God knows the hearts of all men, but I like to think of Mary as God’s special “reminder-er” :slight_smile: ) She was so in tune (and is in tune) with God, that she felt His pain when Jesus suffered. She represents our mother in the faith appealing to the Father.
And what better way to tug on the King’s ear but through the queen?


#18

[quote=Thal59]I don’t mind if a Catholic joins in because I have not heard a definitive Catholic explanation either. But that’s not the problem right now.

Here is the way the passage has been rendered twice in this thread…

33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

Let me blend the text for a moment to show whats wrong here…

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

In other words, the text is corrupted to imply that the “revealing of many hearts” clause is a part of the prophecy regarding the child (Jesus) whereas the second clause, which becomes an independent sentence… “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Diminishes Mary’s role in this prophecy in a sort of “by-the-way” fashion… Oh, yeah, uh you will be hurt too.

Lets look at Luke 2:35 from the older bibles:

Douey-Rheims
"And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed."

King James (1610)
“Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

The elements of the sword, the soul, thoughts, hearts, and revealed are a part of the Marian portion of the prophecy…

Latin Vulgate
et tuam ipsius animam pertransiet gladius (sword) ut revelentur ex multis cordibus (hearts) cogitationes (thoughts; as in cogitate)

Byzantine Majority Greek
kai sou de autês tên psuchên dieleusetai romphaia opôs an apokaluphthôsin ek pollôn kardiôn (hearts) dialogismoi.

Therefore…

34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Is a corrupted text by placing the “thoughts of many hearts” BEFORE the piercing of the sword.

As if it isn’t hard enough to debate scripture between Protestant and Catholic bibles!

Which bible has corrupted Luke 2:34 -35? I hope it isn’t a Catholic bible.

Thal59
[/quote]

I don’t think that this is a question of corrupted bibles. The bible translations that put the reference to Mary in the middle, do so parenthetically. I depend on the RSV-CE translation which has the statement in the middle. I think this is a “better” translation, but I don’t think the others are “corrupt.” It is important to note that translations can be legitimately rendered with slightly different wording. If the wording clearly changes the meaning of the original languages then we have a problem.

I believe that Mary’s “soul magnifies the Lord”[Luke 1:46]. I believe that mentioning her in the middle of the prophecy in Luke 2:34-35 is related to her magnifying the Lord. Her suffering sharpens our view of how Jesus was to “cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” Mary’s role, in this sense, is part of the prophecy, but the prophecy is not, strictly speaking, a Marian prophecy.

As usual, I could be quite wrong in my speculations.


#19

I don’t think that this is a question of corrupted bibles. The bible translations that put the reference to Mary in the middle, do so parenthetically. I depend on the RSV-CE translation which has the statement in the middle. I think this is a “better” translation, but I don’t think the others are “corrupt.” It is important to note that translations can be legitimately rendered with slightly different wording. If the wording clearly changes the meaning of the original languages then we have a problem.<<<

Pax, we DO have a problem. One CANNOT take the second clause of Luke 2:35 and attach it to verse 34 without corrupting the original script.

I am stunned that nobody seems to give a damn about such textual corruptions!!! Especially the Protestants who are practically betting their salvation on scipture alone! (Sola Scriptura.) If I were a sola scripturist, I wouldn’t tolerate any “screwing” with sentence structures or words; I would want the absolute best translation humanly possible.

Let me give you another example. The sign of Jonah:

“Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so too will the son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.”

This is as it appears in the Catholic D-R, Byzantine, and Latin Vulgate. Note the order… Jonah, whale, 3 days - Son of man, earth, 3 days.

In other words, the sentence is structured this way… Person, place, time. However, in the KJ and its variants the passage reads…

“Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so too will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Person, time, place. This may seem to some to be an accpetable variation, however, I had a long and difficult battle with a non-denominational friend of mine over this passage. Because he has always read the timeframe after the person in question, to him the sign of Jonah was the three days and nights which caused him to argue that Jesus could not have died on a Friday and then resurrect on Sunday morning because it was NOT 3 full days and 3 full nights. I asked him what he thought the sign of Jonah was and he said “The three days and three nights!”

But keep the sentence in its proper order, and one realizes that the sign of Jonah is clearly the resurrection, not the timeframe.

Mary’s role, in this sense, is part of the prophecy, but the prophecy is not, strictly speaking, a Marian prophecy.<<

When Simeon says to Mary… “Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” This part of the prophecy is indeed a Marian prophecy. The clause “…that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed…” is the very purpose/result of this “piercing.” Take this away, and the prophecy cannot be determined with any certitude. So far, as you can see, no one can agree as to what the prophecy means.

DANIEL MARSH… From which bible did you quote Luke 2:34-35 from?

Thal59


#20

Like I said…I could be quite wrong in my speculations.

Please be advised, however, that varied interpretations of scripture occur more frequently from pre-existing bias/traditions than from translations(at least IMHO). I think its very helpful to read several translations of the bible in order to get a feel for what the original language had to say.

I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar so I must rely on the English translations. In most cases, the use of several well respected translations has been quite helpful to me.

As far as the prophecy under discussion is concerned, it may be helpful to check a good commentary or two. I doubt that this passage has never been examined. There should be something solid and available on the topic.


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