THE MYSTERIOUS ANCIENT SPEARHEAD
Everyone knows that Jesus was pierced in the side with
a Spear of some sort. It is usually assumed that it was
just an ordinary Roman soldier's spear that just happened
to be available at the time. Later, it passes into many
hands, arriving--supposedly--into Hitler's possession at
the start of the Second World War. Near the end of that
war, the story goes, General Patton discovers the Spear in
a bunker under Nuremberg, realizes what it is, and at that
very moment, Hitler commits suicide and the U.S. succeeds
Germany as the new World Power...because it now holds the
Well, not so fast... That Spear--seen above--has been
kept in Vienna, Austria, where Hitler obtained it back in
1938, since shortly after the War. Is Austria now a World
Power? It used to be--before the First World War, but no
longer. But, of course, some people insist that Austria's
Hapsburg family secretly runs the world from behind their
gilded walls in Vienna.
Maybe. But not very effectively. The fact is, this may
not be the true Spear. It could be one of several copies
made at various times throughout the centuries. The real
Spear--if the legend of it always being in the possession
of the current ruling World Power were true--ought to be
in the United States, for the U.S. has emerged as the very
greatest World Power in modern history. And what about
Judea? The Spear was in Jerusalem for centuries and it
does not appear to have made the Jewish people dominant
in the ancient world. In fact, they were overrun by just
about every one of their neighbors. Come to think of it,
Nazi Germany was also conquered when it had the Spear. So
was Austria in 1938 and again when the Spear was returned
after the war. It may be that having this Spear is a way
to get your nation conquered by its neighbors...
So is it possible the Spear has a different function
than this notion of designating the current World Power?
Is there a deeper, darker secret behind the Spear?
Just where did it really come from?
THE FIRST SPEAR
The Bible mentions several mysterious spears. One is
hurled at David by King Saul. Another is carried by the
giant Goliath and taken by David. Another is used later
to kill Zachariah between the Altar and the Holy Place.
And what about those prophecies about beating spears
"...and they will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruninghooks..." [Isaiah 2:4]
"...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruninghooks..." [Micah 4:3]
Apparently a spear and a pruninghook were so similar a
pruninghook could also be turned back into a spear again:
"Beat your plows into swords and your pruninghooks
into spears: Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'"
Just what is a pruninghook?
A pruninghook was a spear-like pole with a sharpened
blade on the end used to slice off dead branches. Later
blades were curved and sharp on the inner curve only; to
make them spears, the outer curve was straightened and
sharpened as well.
But originally, a pruninghook was probably formed as
a v-shaped or fork-ended device to break off branches or
to remove fruit easily from a tree in an orchard or a
garden. The end might have looked a bit like the Spear
shown at the top of this page--except without the point
added to it.
Why does the Bible keep drawing our attention to the
idea that someone might want to convert a fruit-tree tool
used in a garden into a pointed device--a Spear--that one
could use to kill a man?
Genesis tells us that Adam was placed in the Garden of
Eden to "dress it and to keep it" [Gen 2:15]. How could
Adam do this if he could not reach the fruit or the limbs
on the upper parts of the trees? Obviously he had to make
a tool: The first pruning fork.
But then Adam got "fired" as a tree-pruner and had to
take up a new occupation: A "tiller" of the soil.
There he was with this long pole and its forked end,
when what he really needed was a long pole with a sharp
pointed end to till the soil with and poke holes in the
ground for planting seeds. It is quite likely he simply
added a point to the end of his pruning fork to make it
into a spear-like tool for tilling the soil.
And when Cain grew up and came of age, Adam gave him
the Tiller, for Genesis says Cain became "a tiller of the
ground" like Adam [Gen 4:2]. The text does not indicate
that Adam was sharing this task with Cain or that there
were now two tillers. Adam had tilled the soil for some
13 years or more by this time; he was probably delighted
to hand this job over to someone younger who could labor
"by the sweat of his brow" in Adam's place.
Abel seemed to have a more leisurely occupation. Abel
could sit under a cool tree and "watch" his sheep all day
while Cain sweated in the heat of the sun. Maybe Adam's
decision to hand the Tiller over to Cain was a vengeful
act. If Adam thought Cain was not his own son, because
he was not in Adam's image and likeness as Seth would be
[Gen 5:3], then Adam might have wanted to "punish" Cain
by forcing him to do the hard labor of tilling the soil.
Perhaps Cain resented his hard life and sensed Adam's
rejection. When God also rejected his offering, Cain may
have considered the Tiller the instrument of his torment.
Abel was the more beloved son and the beneficiary of his
labors, because Abel ate the food Cain produced. Abel's
offering was accepted by God. Cain grew to hate Abel.
One day, out in the field where Cain was planting the
new crop (having just offered up some of the grain of his
harvest), Cain rose up from his back-breaking work to see
Abel before him. Cain then used the Tiller to kill Abel,
turning it effectively into a Spear.
So what had begun as a pruning fork was now a Spear.
And what had once been the symbol of Adam's status in
the Graden of Eden--when he had shared dominion over the
earth with Eve--had become the symbol of Cain's rebellion
and of his triumph over his supposed enemies.
Stained with the grapes of Eden, the sweat of Adam and
Cain, and perhaps with the blood from Abel's sacrificial
lamb and Abel's own blood, the Spear had been transformed
into a sacred relic and a talisman of Royal Power.
IS THIS THE TRUE SPEAR?
Look again at the so-called "Spear" at the top of this
page. Would any sane man carry this "weapon" into battle?
Note how flimsy it is, compared to a real spear. This is
hardly the sturdiest blade a smith could make. A little
"sleeve" joined the two parts together in order to hold
the point on the forked end. Would any warrior want such
a crude weapon in his hands, staking his life on it not
breaking? Note that it is in fact broken, if it was not
originally made as two parts.
Again, recall that many copies were made of the 'true'
Spear. We do not know if this is the real Spear, a copy,
or even an accurate copy. We cannot be sure the Spear was
made of the same materials (which in this case include the
use of silver and gold).
But if this spear bears any likeness to the original,
then the forked end, strange construction, and the rather
un-military "look" of the device might be reflections of
the genuine Spear. These would not be qualities one would
add to the design of a copy.
There is no point at the moment in debatng whether or
not this is the genuine Spear. What we do know is that
it was at the very least intended to have been a copy of
the true Spear. Historical tradition of this Spear was
quite clear on that point. Therefore, its design surely
was based upon an earlier, and likely more genuine, relic.
FROM CAIN TO CHRIST
How could the Tiller of Cain have ended up piercing
the side of Christ?
Jesus gave a major clue about just exactly where this
Spear might have been during the interim:
"...behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men,
and scribes; and (some) of them you shall kill and
crucify...that upon you may come all the righteous
blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of the
righteous Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, the son
of Barachias, WHOM YOU SLEW BETWEEN THE TEMPLE AND
THE ALTAR...All these things shall come upon this
generation." [Mt 23:34-36]
Only priests and their fellow Levites were allowed in
this space, and then only during the performance of their
ofiicial duties. The only weapon known to have been left
in this precise location was the ritual Spear that served
as the symbol of authority of the Captain of the Temple,
who was second only to the High Priest himself.
Could it be that Jesus was indicating that the very
Spear used to kill Abel was kept between the Temple and
the Altar? Was this Spear considered so sacred that it
was used only for special occasions?
Indeed, there was an offically-required act that this
specific Spear had to be used for. It involved members
of the family of Jesus, as was prophesied, carrying out a
ritual under the Law of Moses...
How did Cain's Spear get into the Temple? What role
did Jeremiah play in restoring it? If this was the Temple
Spear, was it used to kill Jesus? How did it leave Judea?
Where has it been since the Crucifixion? And what has the
Spear to do with the End Times? Can it help identify the
There are a myriad of questions swirling about this old
relic, which has witnessed the whole pageant of our human
[It will take a book to answer all these questions and
we are planning that volume for later in our series. If
you have not ordered "THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE BIBLE"--see the "News" section of our "NEWS & UPDATES" page.]