Tag Archives: Symbols

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)

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We sometimes think of the Old Testament as a book in which God makes repeated appearances of many kinds. But when we put a time line next to the account, we quickly realize that God’s manifest presence was far more rare and purposeful than we realized. The last time God made a direct appearance in Genesis he visited Jacob in a dream (46:1-7) and assured him his family would become “a great nation” while in Egypt (v. 3). Over four hundred years would pass before God would make another recorded appearance. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)

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SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)

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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)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FLOWERS)

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The beauty of flowers and the way they bloom and flourish makes them a good image for many spiritual themes, including love, transience, and the glory of God. Two Hebrew words are translated as “flower:” perach means to break forth, bud, sprout, or burst; tsuwts evokes images of shining, sparkling, or gleaming. The first connotes spontaneous growth, while the second focuses on beauty. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FLOWERS)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLEAR/CRYSTAL/TRANSPARENT)

iStock-119387130     The concept of transparency, which is technically not a color, is relatively rare in the Bible. The idea is mostly connected with the marvels of crystal, a hard substance that can be seen through. It provided a measure of clarity, but was considered a gem. Glass was still practically unknown. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLEAR/CRYSTAL/TRANSPARENT)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TREE)

Tree: Maple Tree

Before they are symbols for us, trees are examples to us. The psalm writers looked at trees and recognized that their pattern of growth and life was an expression of praise to their Creator. Psalm 96:12 declares, “Let the field and everything in them rejoice. Then all the trees in the forest will sing joyfully.” And Isaiah 55:12 says, “All the trees will clap their hands.” Trees reach upward. Even when planted crooked or sideways, a tree will bend its trunk to vertical-an amazing picture of their purpose to remind us of our own purpose to praise God always. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TREE)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EYE)

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Gazing into someone’s eyes can make us feel as though we are seeing into the person’s soul. In the Bible, as in life, we find many types of eyes, including, beautiful eyes (Gen 29:17; Song of Sol 1:15; 4:1); prideful, arrogant eyes (Pro 6:17); lustful eyes (2 Pet 2:14); sad eyes (Ps 6:6); and desiring eyes (Zech 2:8). People who are seeking revenge take “an eye for an eye” (Exod 21:23-25; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21). How a person judges morality is described as “doing right in [one’s] own eyes” (Judg 17:6; 21:25; 2 Kings 10:5, all ESV). This contrast with doing “what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (1 Kings 15:5, 11; 2 Kings 14:3, all ESV). The use of eyesight as an image is varied and far-reaching, but two main uses emerge in Scripture. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EYE)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)

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      Marriage and the related symbols of bride and bridegroom play as large a role in Scripture as they did in real life in the ancient world. whether we consider the Old Testament picture of Israel as the bride and God as her bridegroom (Isa 62:4-5; Jer 2:2) or the New Testament picture of the church as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2, 9), the message points to a special relationship God longs to have with his people. (See also BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM.)    Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANDLESTICK/LAMP STAND)

 

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The most notable candlesticks in the Bible are those created for use in God’s house. The lamp stand or menorah that stood in the tabernalce was made of a single sheet of pure gold and had seven branches, each topped with a lamp in the shape of an almond blossom (Exod 25:31-40). Solomon’s temple had ten of these candles (1 Kings 7:49). Each lamp burned olive oil and was kept burning through the night as a symbol that God was with his chosen people at all times (Exod 27:21; 1 Sam 3:3). Extrabiblical sources suggest that in later times the middle lamp, which represented God himself, was kept burning around the clock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANDLESTICK/LAMP STAND)

SIGNS &SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANAAN)

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The land of Canaan is the original name for what became the Promise Land of Israel in the Old Testament. It was named after Noah’s grandson Canaan, who was the ancestor of various groups living in that region (Gen 10:15-19). In general, the term Canaanite was applied to any all peoples who lived along the eastern end of the Mediterranean and west of the Dead Sea. Continue reading SIGNS &SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANAAN)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)

matzoh - jewish passover bread

      In scientific terms, yeast is a fungus that ferments carbohydrates and makes dough rise. It is a key ingredient in the making of bread,  beer, wine, and spirits. Leavened bread is present in most cultures from prehistoric times onward, including that of the Israelites. That is why Moses’ instruction to leave yeast out of their bread in preparation for the exodus seemed notable and became part of the remembrance celebration of the Passover. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)