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 ©1996-2017 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

    What Ever Did We Do before the Invention of Empathy? and Prince Philip’s Confession in “The Crown”

    Did you know there once was a time when empathy didn’t exist in the English-speaking world. During that time, all those poor souls lived in a “Dark Age” of feelings in which they had only sympathy to rely on when faced with others’ pain. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the word empathy was […]

    When in Rome . . . or Santiago or Nairobi or Chiang Mai [—at A Life Overseas]

    When in Rome, sometimes we do as the Romans do just to fit in. Sometimes it’s out of necessity. Sometimes it’s because their way is actually better. And sometimes it’s because, well—Why not give it a shot? Has your host culture offered you ways of doing things different from what you’re used to, ways you’ve […]