A tool with a bladed head on a handle, used for cutting wood or stone; also used as a weapon.
Several Hebrew and Greek words refer to this tool. The Hebrew word gar·zenʹ, found in the Bible and referring to an ax used to chop wood, is also found in the Siloam inscription for an ax used to excavate stone. (De 19:5; Isa 10:15) According to Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden, 1958, p. 650), the Hebrew word sa·gharʹ, occurring in Psalm 35:3, denotes a “double axe.” And at 2 Kings 6:5, 6, the Hebrew word bar·zelʹ, literally meaning “iron,” has the meaning of “axhead.”
At Revelation 20:4, reference is made to heirs of the heavenly kingdom who were “executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God.” Since the ax was at times used by the political state for execution, this must mean that human governments have judged these loyal servants of God as unworthy to live.