We use the term “two-edged sword” to connote an item, issue or statement that “cuts both ways.” For example, a comment might be received either as an insult or compliment, depending on circumstances. An action can serve both positive and negative purposes simultaneously.
The proverbial two-edged sword is biblical, but not literally “proverbial.” That is, you won’t find it in the Book of Proverbs. You’ll find it first referenced in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. In Chapter 4, Verse 12, he wrote: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In Revelation, the aged Apostle John likewise spoke of it figuratively as God’s holy word. Describing in Chapter 1 the appearance of “One like the Son of Man,” John noted (Verse 16) that “out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword.” In his message to the 1st-Century church in Pergamos (Rev. 2:12), John began: These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges. . . .
The very existence and meaning of the Bible obviously “cuts both ways.” To the nonbeliever, it all adds up to little or nothing at all. To the believer, it is very Life!