Article Index

As we study and meditate on Scripture we find that many items or individuals are symbolic of something else or are given to foreshadow Messiah.

The purpose of this page is to serve as a repository for thoughts and observations regarding items or individuals from Scripture and briefly note their symbolic meaning(s).

This article is not meant to be an exhaustive study of any of the items listed and is a work in progress.

 

Abyss

The abyss (literally "the deeps" of the ocean) is symbolic of death.

  • Paul clearly links the two in Romans 10:7.
  • King David also references the symbology of death in the abyss (Hebrew: tehome) in Psalm 71:20.
  • Darkness was over the surface of the abyss (tehome again) in Genesis 1:2.

 

Animals

Animal horns- generally representative of power and/or authority

"Beasts of the field, birds of the sky, crawling things"- In Scripture this phrasing is used to refer to the nations of the world (i.e. non-Israelites) (Hosea 2:18, Acts 10:12, 11:16)


Bear

The bear is symbolic of a slow but powerful and destructive presence.

Daniel 7:5 describes a bear with three ribs in its teeth. This bear is symbolic of the Medo-Persian empire.


Donkey

The donkey is symbolic of royal peace.

It is a royal beast of burden of peace (as opposed to a horse which is an animal of war).


Dove

The dove is symbolic of peace and the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit].

  • Genesis 8 ( Noach sends out a dove in essence asking "can we find peace with G-d?")
  • Matthew 3:16 (Ruach descending "as a dove" on Messiah)


Dragon

The dragon is symbolic of HaSatan (Revelation 12)

The dragon symbolizes fourth beast of Daniel's dream, the fourth kingdom: Rome.

  • Daniel 7:7
  • Revelation 12:3


Goat

The goat represents sin. The goat is not intrinsically sinful... it is just a symbol.

  • Daniel 8:21 describes a "shaggy goat" who represents the kingdom of Greece.
  • When Yeshua relates the parable of the sheep and the goats Matthew 25:31-34 Hebrews versus Greeks may be in view. The separation of those in the kingdom versus those who are out is clearly what is communicated. The goats are out. The sheep are in.

Horse

The horse is symbolic of military might.

  • Pharaoh's horses and horsemen (Exodus 14, 15:21)
  • The king is commanded not to "multiply horses" (i.e. pursue military power) (Deuteronomy 17:16)


Lamb

The lamb is symbolic of peace, salvation, innocence and Messiah ben Yosef.

  • Isaiah 53:7 and Acts 8:32
  • Jeremiah 11:19

 

Leopard

The leopard is symbolic of speed, grace, and strength.

  • The leopard symbolizes Greece which was the third beast of Dani'el's dream... the third kingdom (Daniel 7:6). This is likely because of the speed with which Greece conquered their foes.
  • The leopard is also mentioned Jeremiah 5:6

 

Lion

The lion is symbolic of might, fierce power, and royalty.

  • The lion symbolizes Babylon in Dani'el's dream (Daniel 7:4).
  • Messiah is called the Lion of the tribe of Y'hudah (Revelation 5:5).

 

Ram

The ram is symbolic of power and might (due to its horns).

  • Daniel 8:20 describes a ram whose two horns represent the two kings of the Media and Persia.

 

Raven

The raven is symbolic of a messenger or angel.

  • Given as a picture of an evil spirit in the story of Noach in Genesis 8:7.
  • Given as a picture of messengers of G-d's provision in 1 Kings 17:4-6.


Serpent

The serpent is usually symbolic of the enemy, HaSatan (Genesis 3:1) but is also given as a picture of Messiah (lifted upon a stick to save Israelites from the serpent's bite) in Numbers 21:6-9.


Wolf

The wolf is given as a picture of something that consumes with great appetite: ravenousness.

It is given as a picture of an enemy disguised as a friend (Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29)


Colors

Black

Black is symbolic of evil and death.

Black is the absence of light which symbolizes good and life.

 

Blue

Blue is symbolic of the sky, the priesthood, the Ruach, and G-d.

Although blue is not directly mentioned in Scripture, techelet (a thread or fabric that is dyed blue) is often mentioned in Scripture in the context of priestly robes or tzitzit [tassels] that are worn on the corners of garments or that were incorporated into the Tabernacle.

 

Brass/Bronze/Copper

Bronze is symbolic of judgment and wrath.

Consider the bronze altar (Exodus 27) and the judgment and wrath that were symbolically poured out on it.

 

Gold

Gold is symbolic of holiness and purity.

Everything inside the tabernacle was gold. Consider the gold altar of incense (Exodus 30).

 

Gray

Gray is symbolic of old age, wisdom, and honor. (Proverbs 20:29)

 

Green

Green is symbolic of life and fertility. (Genesis 9:3)

 

Purple

Purple is symbolic of royalty, prosperity, and the priesthood.

 

Red/Scarlet

Red and scarlet are symbolic of blood and sacrifice, and the sin that requires it.

 

Silver

Silver is symbolic of salvation and redemption.

 

White

White is symbolic of purity and holiness.

 

Darkness

Darkness is symbolic of evil and death.

  • In Genesis 1:4 G-d declares that the light is good. He then separates light from the darkness which (by implication) is "not good".
  • Psalm 107:10-14 links darkness and death.

 

Light

Light (Hebrew: or) is symbolic of good and life.

  • In Genesis 1:3 G-d creates light.
  • In Genesis 1:4 G-d declares that the light is good. He then separates light from the darkness which (by implication) is "not good".
  • In John 8:12 we see that Yeshua declares himself to be the "light of the world" and John 1:4 tells us that the life that is in Yeshua is "the Light of men".

 

Materials

Brass/Bronze/Copper

See Brass/Bronze/Copper under Colors.

 

Clay

Clay is symbolic of humanity.

Isaiah 64:8 pictures G-d as the potter and Israel as the clay.

Paul uses this same metaphor in Romans 9:21.

 

Gold

See Gold under Colors.

 

Iron

Iron is symbolic of power and authority.

Revelation 2:27 quotes Psalm 2:9 where Mashiach notes the authority He has received from His Father is likened unto a rod of iron.

 

Pitch

Pitch is symbolic of atonement or ransom.

In the story of Noach's Ark we see G-d instruct Noach to cover the Ark with pitch (Genesis 6:14). The Hebrew word for "pitch" (kopher) in the verse is usually translated in Scripture as "ransom"- the price paid to redeem something.

 

Silver

See Silver under Colors.

 

Stone/Rock

Stone is symbolic of Messiah and truth.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:4 links Exodus 17:6 with Messiah.
  • In Isaiah 8:13-14 the Messiahis likened to "a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over".

 

Water

Water is symbolic of the Ruach [the Spirit] and Torah.

Water (Hebrew: mayim) often pictures the Ruach as well as the life and judgment it can bring:

  • The Ruach hovers/trembles over the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2 at the beginning of Creation.
  • G-d brings the waters above and the waters below in judgment against the earth in the time of Noach (Genesis 7:11).
  • Water as an example of Torah can be found in Isaiah 55:1-3. G-d instructs that "everyone who thirsts come to the waters" then says to "listen carefully to" Him. What is it He has spoken that we should listen carefully to? Torah!
  • Yeshua is immersed in water [baptized] in Matthew 3:13-17 and the Ruach of G-d comes upon Him.

 

Wood

Wood is symbolic of humanity.

  • In Genesis 6:14 G-d instructs Noach to cover the Ark with pitch. The picture is that the Ark (humanity) is given a covering (an atonement)
  • In the Temple we see many articles built of wood covered with some type of metal (bronze, silver, or gold). These are pictures of humanity covered by judgment, salvation, and holiness/purity.

 

Torah Portion

ואתחנן (Va'etchanan)

 

 

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Today is

Yom Sheni, 11 Av, 5778

Monday, July 23, 2018

 

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