As a physical feature, darkness is nothing in and of itself. Darkness is instead defined as the absence of light. Synonymous with emptiness, darkness is used to describe the earth at the very beginning of creation when “darkness covered the deep water” (Gen 1:2). Out of this absence, the first thing God created was light. In the beginning, Scripture pictures light and darkness as balanced parts of a single day and night: “So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night” Gen 1:4-5). Continue reading SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)
Some Christian join skeptics on this point. They doubt Matthew’s claim about Mary: “While she was sill a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Continue reading A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
The term Sabbath come from the Hebrew word for “case.” This day of stopping normal activity and work was to serve as a reminder of God’s rest after the work of creation (Gen 2:2-3). God set aside this day as holy and blessed it as a gift to humankind. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SABBATH)
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
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FISH)
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
Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (5)
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.
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TRUMPET/SHOFAR)
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).
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SILVER)
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:
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (RAINBOW)
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
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SERPENT ON A POLE)
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
Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (CAMEL)