Ecclesiastes 4:12 – The cord of three strands
A trinity is mentioned frequently in the Bible.
For example God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and man, as body, soul and spirit.
A trinity that symbolises great strength is illustrated in Ecclesiastes 4:12, which states:
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Rope for daily use is usually manufactured from three strands.
A strand contains several hemp fibres twisted together – nowadays these are often made of plastic.
Three of these strands are twisted together so that a rope is made, as illustrated here.
The three strands ensure that a stable rope is made.
A rope made from two strands twisted together would have no stability.
(the rings in the illustrations represent strands, which consist of several separate threads.)
Four strands also produce an unstable rope.
The four strands will slide over each other, so that three of them will end up next to each other, with the fourth on the outside. A cable with four strands will only be stable if a solid core is laid in the middle.
When three strands are twisted together a rope is produced in which the strands are firmly pressed against each other. It is impossible to pull one of the strands loose from the rope. The greater the tension on the rope, when it is pulled, the firmer the strands become pressed against each other.
This rope, with three strands twisted together, will not break quickly.
A cord of three strands, or a rope of three stands, is a splendid image of a trinity, which cannot be broken quickly.
Print this study as a PDF document:
Ecclesiastes 4:12 – The cord of three strands.