Colors in the Bible

Symbolical uses of BLACK: A SYMBOL OF AFFLICTION AND CALAMITY

  • Job 3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
  • Job 10:20-22 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, 21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; 22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
  • Job 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
  • Psalms 107:10-11 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
  • Psalms 143:3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
  • Isaiah 5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.
  • Also Isaiah 8:22; 9:19; 24:11; 50:3; Joel 2:6,10; 3:14-15; Amos 5:8; Nahum 2:10; Zephaniah 1:14-15; Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:13; Revelation 16:10.

See also McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia for Color.

BLUE: SYMBOL OF DEITY

  • Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
  • Exodus 25:3-4 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
  • Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.
  • Exodus 28:28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
  • Exodus 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
  • Exodus 38:18 And the hanging for the gate of the court was needlework, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: and twenty cubits was the length, and the height in the breadth was five cubits, answerable to the hangings of the court.
  • Exodus 39:1-5 And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses. 2 And he made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 3 And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work. 4 They made shoulderpieces for it, to couple it together: by the two edges was it coupled together. ...
  • Also Exodus 39:21,24,29,31; Numbers 4:5-12; 15:38-40; 2 Chronicles 2:7,14; 3:14; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1.

For additional reference, see passages below under CRIMSON

SYMBOL OF ROYALTY

  • Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
  • Ezekiel 23:6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.

See CRIMSON, below

CRIMSON, RED, PURPLE, AND SCARLET, SYMBOLS OF VARIOUS IDEAS

Of iniquity

  • Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
  • Revelation 17:3-4 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
  • Revelation 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
  • Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Of royalty

  • Judges 8:26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.
  • Daniel 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
  • Daniel 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
  • Daniel 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
  • Matthew 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

Prosperity

  • 2 Samuel 1:24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
  • Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
  • Lamentations 4:5 They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

Conquest

  • Nahum 2:3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
  • Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

These colors figured largely in the symbolisms of the tabernacle furnishing, and priestly vestments and functions, as types and shadows of the atonement

  • Exodus 25:3-5 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,
  • Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.
  • Exodus 26:14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
  • Exodus 26:31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
  • Exodus 26:36 And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
  • Exodus 36:8 And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.
  • Exodus 36:19 And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
  • Also Exodus 36:35,37; 27:16; 28:4-8,15,31,33; 35:5-7,23,25,35; 38:18,23; 39:2-3,5,29; Leviticus 14:4,6,49,51-52; Numbers 4:7-8,13; 19:2,5-6; Isaiah 63:1-3; Hebrews 9:19-23.

WHITE: SYMBOL OF HOLINESS

The high priest's holy garments were made of white linen

  • Leviticus 16:4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
  • Leviticus 16:32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:

Choir singers were arrayed in white

  • 2 Chronicles 5:12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)

SCRIPTURES EMPLOYING THE SYMBOL

  • Psalms 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
  • Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
  • Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
  • Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
  • Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
  • Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
  • Matthew 28:2-3 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
  • Also Mark 9:3; Revelation 1:13-14; 2:17; 3:4-5,18; 4:4; 6:2,11; 7:9,13-14; 15:6; 19:8,11,14; 20:11.
 
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