a-sun'-der: This word occurs 22 times in the King James Version, 13 in Old Testament and 9 in the New Testament. It is found in combination with break (twice), burst, cleave (twice), depart, cut (six times), divide (three times), drive, part, pluck, put (twice), rend, saw. These are the translation of 9 Hebrew, and 4 Greek words.
Break asunder (1) (parpar): Job, in reply to Eliphaz, complains about God, "I was at ease, and he brake me asunder" (Job 16:12). (2) (nitteq): In Ps 2:1-12 the kings and rulers, meditating rebellion against Yahweh and His anointed, say, "Let us break their bonds asunder" (Ps 2:3).
Burst asunder (lasko): This was the fate of Judas (Ac 1:18).
Cleave asunder (1) (nibhqa'): The same root as of biq`ah, "a valley." "The ground clave asunder" and swallowed up Dathan and Abiram with their households (Nu 16:31). (2) (pillach): Job complains of God, "He cleaveth my reins asunder" (Job 16:13).
Cut asunder (1) (qitstsets): The Lord "cut asunder the cords of the wicked" (Ps 129:4). The Hebrew word is used of cutting into wires or strips (Ex 39:3). (2) (gadha'): "to cut off a branch or cut down a tree." "How is the hammer of the whole earth (Babylon) cut asunder!" (Jer 50:23). Zechariah "cut asunder" the staff "Beauty," signifying the breach of the covenant between Yahweh and His people, and also the staff "Bands," signifying the breach of the brotherhood between Judah and Israel (Zec 11:10,14). (3) (dichotomeo): The fate of the Unfaithful Steward, literally, "cut in two"; the Revised Version, margin "severely scourge him" (Mt 24:51; Lu 12:46).
Depart asunder (apochorizomai): Paul and Barnabas "departed asunder from one another" (Ac 15:39 the King James Version); the Revised Version (British and American) "parted asunder."
Divide asunder (1) (hibhdil): Usually to separate, to make a division between. Here the reference is to the offering of pigeons or turtledoves (Le 1:17; 5:8). (2) (merismos): From merizo, "to divide." The noun is abstract, "the act of dividing." The word of God pierces "even to the dividing of soul and spirit" (Heb 4:12).
Drive asunder (hittir): Lit. "to cause to tremble," then "to loosen." God "drove asunder the nations" (Hab 3:6).
Part asunder (hiphridh): With a preposition ben, "between," "to separate." The chariot and horses of fire "parted asunder" Elijah and Elisha (2Ki 2:11).
Pluck asunder (diaspao): To bear asunder, to part forcibly. "Chains had been plucked asunder" by the demoniac of the Gerasenes (Mr 5:4 the King James Version); the Revised Version (British and American) "rent asunder."
Put asunder (chorizo): To sever one from another. See the words of Jesus on divorce (Mt 19:6; Mr 10:9).
Rend asunder (nibhqa`): The same Hebrew word as "cleave asunder." (1) "And No shall be rent asunder" (Eze 30:16 the King James Version): the Revised Version (British and American) "broken up." (2) the Revised Version (British and American) for the King James Version "plucked asunder" (Mr 5:4).
Saw asunder (prizo or prio): The fate of some on the roll of faith, "They were sawn asunder" (Heb 11:37).
See also PUNISHMENTS.
S. F. Hunter