SWORDS


Depiction of Heaven, Earth, and Hell inside the Holy Savior Cathedral, Iran.


For thousands of years swords have been the weapon of choice for mankind, however in Christian scripture the sword is a supernatural substance that is first recorded to have been made by the angels, angels or sons of God (Book of Enoch). The Genesis account says Tubal-Cain made cutting instruments (Genesis 4:22), and the sword has many associations with God Himself.


"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword" (Matthew 26, 26:52)
This passage is only found in the Gospel of Matthew and not in any of the other gospels.


"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."

— Jesus Christ, English Standard Version (Luke 6:27–31) - Sermon on the Mount


"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." – Ephesians 6:10-18


"For the word of God is alive 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" (Hebrews 4:12).



"Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28).

Geoffroi de Charny's "Book of Chivalry" expounded upon the importance of Christian faith in every area of a knight's life, though still laying stress on the primarily military focus of knighthood.

The miles Christianus allegory (mid-13th century), pictured above shows a knight armed with virtues and facing the vices in mortal combat. The parts of his armour are identified with Christian virtues, thus correlating essential military equipment with the religious values of chivalry: The helmet is spes futuri gaudii (hope of future bliss), the shield (here the shield of the Trinity) is fides (faith), the armour is caritas (charity), the lance is perseverantia (perseverance), the sword is verbum Dei (the word of God), the banner is regni celestis desiderium (desire for the kingdom of heaven), the horse is bona voluntas (good will), the saddle is Christiana religio (Christian religion), the saddlecloth is humilitas (humility), the reins are discretio (discretion), the spurs are disciplina (discipline), the stirrups are propositum boni operis (proposition of good work), and the horse's four hooves are delectatio, consensus, bonum opus, consuetudo (delight, consent, good work, and exercise).



A sword can also be found in Jesus’ words: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34)

"Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," (Ephesians 6:17)

In a spiritual way Paul urges us to put on armor of God, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephensians 6:11)

“Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness” (Nephi 1:23)

The Breastplate of righteousness was one of the main pieces of armor that protected the “more vital parts of the body” for Nephite soldiers (Alma 43:38). In one battle, Zarahemnah, the leader of a Lamanite-Zoramite-Amalekite coalition, claimed that the Nephites’ military prowess was simply due to their “cunning” in preparing themselves with “breastplates and … shields,” (Alma 44:9), which no one in Zarahemnah’s army had (Alma 43:21).

The Nephites’ most important advantage was due to their being “inspired by a better cause” (Alma 43:45), for Captain Moroni had “inspired their hearts with … thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage” (v. 48). Like a breastplate, the righteousness of their hearts proved to be the most vital protection against their enemies.

A flaming sword is found in Genesis 3:24. When man had fallen out of fellowship with God because of sin, God expelled him out of the Garden of Eden. To keep the way of the tree of life, He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Angels are described as a flame of fire (Heb. 1:7; cf. II Kings 2:11) and are often seen with a sword drawn in hand (as we shall see), so perhaps this was an angel protecting the tree of life. Historically speaking, the next we see of it is in heaven (Rev. 22:1,2). Eternal life is God’s and God’s only to give (John 14:6).

Archangel Uriel is often identified as a cherub and the angel of repentance represented as being as pitiless as any demon. He "stands at the Gate of Eden with a fiery sword", or as the angel who "watches over thunder and terror". Uriel means "God is my Light" and is known as the regent of the Sun.

The Anglican intercessional prayer to Saint Uriel the Archangel is as follows;

Oh Holy Saint Uriel, intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the Holy Spirit may bear much fruit in our souls, Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable Will of God in our lives, That we may fully participate in the army of the Church. Amen.



Drawing upon medieval ascetic ideals, Knight Geoffroi de Charny presents the life of the knight as a sort of passion of suffering and danger. He claims that the trials associated with the knight’s lifestyle outshine even the harshest penances imposed upon monks, thus making it of greater spiritual worth. Moreover, the knight’s life is full of peril and the possibility of dying any time, any place. Thus, Charny concludes his book by pointing out that awareness of their own mortality forced knights, more than any other sector of society, to be prepared at any moment to meet their Creator.


"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." - Psalms 23:4 King James Version

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee." - Ezekiel 25:17