double-edged sword

something that has both positive and negative aspects
—Becoming an adult is a double-edged sword: It brings a lot of freedom but a lot of responsibilities, as well.

Most of Solomon’s proverbs are collected in the Book of Proverbs, which contains the following caution:

My child, be attentive to my wisdom,
pay close attention to my understanding,
in order to safeguard discretion,
and that your lips may guard knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her seductive words are smoother than olive oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword. (Proverbs 5:3,4)

Here the important quality of the sword is that its two edges are extremely sharp. But in modern usage, two-edged has become double-edged, stressing the sword’s ability to cut in two directions.

Next Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    In Praise of Care Packages {—at A Life Overseas}

    Two months ago, I wrote about used tea bags in care packages, which led to reader comments about less-than-optimal gifts, including a single roll of toilet paper, ribbons from graveside floral arrangements, and pencil stubs. But “philcott,” reminds us of the joys that gifts can bring, by pointing out what can happen when they are absent. After […]

    Ink, 2, 3, 4

    “Student Uses Invisible Ink to Ace Ninja Report” A Japanese student aced an assignment on ninja culture by making her own invisible ink from soybeans in a stealthy move that impressed her professor. Eimi Haga, a member of Mie University’s ninja club, turned in an essay on a visit to a museum about the nimble […]