Trumpets in Bible times were made of metal or bone and formed into an instrument at least two feet long. They had a high sound that could be regulated to some degree, but they were used more for signaling than for making music. Rams’ horns, also called shofar, were signaling instruments used to assemble the army (Judg 3:27; 1Sam 13:3) or sound an alarm (Job 39:24-25; Jer 6:1; Amos 3:6). They are the most commonly mentioned instrument in the Bible, with seventy-two references.
Silver is one of the precious metals mentioned frequently in the Bible. It symbolizes value. Proverbs uses silver alone with gold as significant measures of the even greater value of wisdom: “The profit gained from wisdom is greater than the profit gained from silver. Its yield is better than fine gold” (3:4).
The rainbow is the primary biblical symbol most people can identify. Children in Sunday school learn early on about Noah’s ark and the rainbow that accompanied God’s promise to never again destroy the whole earth by flood:
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
Camels were a common sight throughout Bible times, particularly in cities and villages along caravan routes, where these long-distance beasts of burden might pause for a night before trudging on to their destination. In addition to being a means of
In the ancient world lamps were usually made of pottery shaped like a shell with a rim across the top and a spout at one end to hold the wick. The lamps of Christians were decorated with Christian symbols. Olive oil was the most common fuel, and although lamps could hold enough oil to last through the night, housewives had to get up during the night and trim the wick. In Jesus’ day, the most common lamp was a wheel shape,
As a city symbolic of man’s power in rebellion against God, Nineveh ranks second only to Babylon. Yet it also stands out as an example of cultural repentance-the population of a large city recognizing the holiness of God and humbling themselves before him. Three of Israel’s prophets-Jonah, Nahum, and Zephaniah-had dealings with the city. Nineveh Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (NINEVEH)
The term ark in Scriptures has two main meanings: one is a large boat built by Noah, and the other is the ark of the covenant that was housed in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Both of these images encapsulate important spiritual truths related to salvation.
Grapevines are a plant well suited to the climate of Palestine. Grapes were cultivated as far back as Noah’s day (Gen 9:20) and were eaten fresh, dried, or crushed to make juice, vinegar, or wine. In an area where water was often in short supply, the juice from grapes became crucial for life. Clusters of grapes as large as five kilograms (twelve pounds) have been reported in Palestine, giving validity to the spies’ account of the grapes in Canaan in
The agricultural practice of grafting joining a shoot or bud to a growing plant so they grow together into a new plant-was well-known in the ancient world. It was usually done to promote new growth and increased fruit production among similar plant species. Grafting was a faster way to get a mature plant than starting from seeds. Often a branch from a cultivated tree would be grafted onto an already established wild tree, and the wild tree