Tag Archives: signs and symbols

BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (FORTY)

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We should note at the outset that in the era before clocks and precise record keeping, numbers were often an estimation. Three and five signified a little, and forty a lot more. That is not to say that forty was never an accurate number, only that precision was not the intent of biblical authors.  Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (FORTY)

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BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (CROWN)

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Throughout history, crowns have been the primary image for authority and honor. In the Bible, it is clear that God is the one who crowns kings. All earthly authority comes from him (Rom 13:1-2). In David’s psalm describing the king, we read that God “welcomed him with the blessings of good things and set a crown of fine gold on his head” (Ps 21:3). The king’s crown was a symbol of his representative rule of the kingdom that was ultimately ruled by God, God is the only true authority, the everlasting King. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (CROWN)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FISH)

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In the ancient world fish were a staple food and fishing was a common occupation. Of Jesus’ twelve disciples, seven of them worked as fishermen. Jesus commissioned these men using familiar symbolism, saying, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish” (Matt 4:19). The fishing profession that was their livelihood became a symbol for their new calling of spreading the good news of salvation. Both at

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (5)

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The number five, with its immediate connection to the fingers of one hand, often represents a small amount in the Bible. The idea expressed in modern terms is “just a handful.” When faced with the hunger of five thousand, all Jesus’ disciples could come up with was a child’s lunch of five loaves and two fish (John 6:9). Yet Jesus had no problem multiplying that small gift into abundance for the meal. Isaiah mentions five Egyptian cities that will be unusual as a foreign remnant from that land and that will “swear

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HEAVEN)

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In a literal sense, heaven is the eternal dwelling place of God (Gen 24:7), the angels (Gen 28:12), and the saints-Christians who have died (Eph 2:6; Rev 20:4). The imagery surrounding heaving in Scripture is filled with pictures of an otherworldly paradise, the world as it was meant to be in all of its original perfection. Heaven itself is not an image in Scripture-it is a real place, in the same way earth is a real place, in the same way earth Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HEAVEN)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (PASSOVER)

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We begin to understand the significance of Passover when we realize that the word is actually two words: pass over. Passover originated in one the greatest events records in the Old Testament, when the people of Israel were released after four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. God ensured the nation’s exit from bondage with a tenth plague on

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BAPTISM)

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Purification rituals involving water were common in ancient religious, so baptism would not have seemed like a practice that was peculiar to the early Christian church. For them, however, it was a once-for-all ritual washing rather than a repeated act. It is now a symbolic washing away sins upon conversion to faith in Christ. John the Baptist

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SERPENT ON A POLE)

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During the exodus, the people of Israel repeatedly rebelled against God and didn’t trust his Word, so God sent “poisonous snakes” (Num 21:6) into the camp as a punishment for their sin. Some translation call them “fiery serpents.” When the Israelites repented and begged for deliverance, God told Moses to create a bronze serpent and put

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (INCENSE)

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Incense is a combination of aromatic spices, herbs, and oils that yields its strongest fragrance when warmed or burned. The incense used in the temple was made of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense; any combination other than this was not to be used for worship, and this combination was not to be used for any other purpose. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he put a handful of incense on the hot coals

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