One of the reasons I love studying the Bible is that it is a never ending source of truth and insight and its depth and sharpness continually amazes me. It is also a lot of fun to discover a new twist on a well-known verse. That was the case that while studying the Aramaic word for joint, I stumbled into further light on Hebrews 4:12.
Hebrews 4:12: (Aramaic translation)
For the word of God is living and completely effective and sharper than a two-edged sword and enters all the way to the separation of soul and of spirit, and of the joints and of the marrow and of the bones, and judges the reasonings and the thoughts of the heart.
The Word of God is powerful and alive and when applied, it does slice like a very sharp knife. There are three things in this verse that are used as comparisons of how sharp the Word of God is. It is easy to see that it is very difficult to separate soul and spirit and the thoughts and intents of the heart. Only God can know what is truly on the inside of a person’s heart and knows what are the motives and reasonings and how to divide those. The part that I never understood much about was the joints and marrow.
The marrow of a bone is in the very core of the bone and it is there that most of the red blood cells are produced. Some white cells are also produced there. The joint is the point of connection on the outside of the bone itself that joins it to another bone. So in my previously held picture I thought this verse was referring to the whole outside of the bone – in other words, that the Word of God is sharp enough to separate between the inside and the outside of the bone.
As you see, from the above translation, the Aramaic clarifies this verse about the joints and marrow. It says, between the “joints and the marrow and the bones.” The word for joint in Aramaic can also be translated membrane, or covering. When I was studying a book on the human body, I found a beautiful illustration of the inside of a bone. The three parts of the inside of a bone are the marrow, surrounded by the actual bone cells (which is where the blood vessels are), and the outside membrane. This membrane is a very hard substance and is called the periosteum. As you can see, it would be extremely difficult to slice between these three parts because they are fused together to form the bone. It could be done but only with the very sharpest knife or tool.
Above is an illustration of the inside of a bone so you can see the picture. This is how sharp the Word of God is!!!