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What Does the Bible Say About..Buying Swords?

What does Jesus mean when he talks to his disciples about selling their possessions to but swords? (Luke 22) What would the swords be used for? Later in the same chapter Jesus rebukes a disciple for cutting off the soldierís ear. Why would he do that if he himself told them to buy swords?


Read the entire context where he said to buy swords. (Luke 22:31-38) He is talking about their future after he has been crucified. In verse 35-37, the immediate context, he starts by reminding them that when he sent them out before they needed nothing. While he was with them they didnít need to worry about food or protection. But he is about to leave them. In the future they will face persecution and death. They will need money where they didnít before. They will need protection. The word used in the Greek actually designates a hunting knife more than a sword. It may be a short sword used for defense, but never the long sword used as an offensive weapon.

When Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, Jesus was still alive. It wasnít yet the time they would need the money and weapons. Further, Peter had actually initiated the attack. This was not what Jesus had meant. It was actually a chance for him to explain that the swords were not to be used in offense, but defense.