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A comprehensive look into the Spiritual and Biblical meaning of colors in the Bible. This study is great for digging deep into the word, and tools for understanding symbols in the Bible and for dreams and visions.
*For a break down on individual colors, please click on Biblical Meaning of Colors in the Rainbow in the Table of Contents. or scroll down.
- Why Study Colors in the Bible?
- The Spiritual Meaning of Colors
- Meaning of Colors in Dreams
- Colors of the Tabernacle
- Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors
- Colors in the Book of Revelation
- The Colored Gemstones of the Bible
- Biblical Meaning of Colors in the Rainbow
- Other Colors in the Bible
- Colors of Salvation
- Biblical Meaning of Colors Conclusion
Why Study Colors in the Bible?
There are tons of topics and even symbols to study in scripture. And some of them are pretty interesting. Like the topic of angels in the Bible and one, I did recently about the symbolic meaning of snakes in dreams. So, why take the time to learn about colors? It can seem almost elementary but it’s far from that.
Different colors were used throughout scripture to symbolize deep spiritual truths. And for God to use them means they have significance. So, below you will find some of my key reasons…
5 Key Reasons to Study Colors in the Bible
- Colors in the Bible reveal rich biblical truths about God and mankind. You will see how God weaves colors throughout scripture to paint a bigger picture. It’s amazing!
- It will deepen your ability to do hermeneutics research.
- It will inspire your faith. I have witnessed this first hand with studying colors.
- It can bring revelation to what God is saying to you personally. (more of this later)
- It’s fun!
The Spiritual Meaning of Colors
A simple google search on the meaning of colors will bring up a gazillion articles on the topic. But how do we sift through what is good and true?
In this section, we will look at the different methods or types of interpretation.
“Spiritual” Meaning of Colors
“Spiritual” is a very vague term, which can mean a lot of things. Yes, it can mean Christian or Biblical, but it also can mean, New Age, Hindu, Islamic, and a whole bunch of other things. When searching for meaning in a color it’s important to understand the source of interpretation.
It’s easy to be led astray if we are not watchful and careful to what information we consume.
For the purposes of this post when I mention “Spiritual meaning.” I am meaning a Christian or Biblical interpretation of color(s).
Prophetic Meaning of Colors
The prophetic meaning of colors is extremely similar to the spiritual meaning of colors. But the key difference is what the prophetic means:
Webster Dictionary – Prophecy: a prediction of something to come
According to the Strong’s Concordance, this is what is said of the Gift of Prophecy in 1 Corinthians 12 & 14.
STRONGS NT 4394: προφητείαπροφητεία, προφητείας, ἡ (προφητεύω, which see), Hebrew נְבוּאָה, prophecy, i. e. discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; especially by foretelling future events. Used in the N. T. — of the utterances of the O. T. prophets: Matthew 13:14; 2 Peter 1:20, 21
So, when looking for the prophetic meaning of colors you are wanting to know if God is speaking to you personally in the here and now or about the future.
As a prophetically gifted person, I firmly believe that we should get understanding and clarity from the Bible. From there we pray and ask God to make it clear and to confirm what He is saying.
I personally don’t care for prophetic colors with a list of meanings. Yet, have no backing or scriptural reasoning to their meaning.
Cultural Meaning of Colors
I believe this is the biggest way a lot of people including Christians understand the meaning of colors. A lot of times cultural meaning has significance and truth to it, but it’s not how the Bible is interpreting the color. Here are a few examples we culturally interpret colors:
Examples of Cultural Interpretation of Colors
Pink: Innocents, Purity, Femininity, New Life
This comes from the idea of babies, specifically baby girls or little girls.
Green: Envy and Jealousy
Why does green mean envy?
You can thank Mr. Shakespeare for that!
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago warns Othello “Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”
He referenced this idea of green and envy also in The Merchant of Venice, and Antony and Cleopatra.
Blue: “I’ve got the blues”
This one will probably blow you away…
“The noun blues, meaning “low spirits,” was first recorded in 1741 and may come from blue devil, a 17th-century term for a baleful demon, or from the adjective blue meaning “sad,” a usage first recorded in Chaucer’s Complaint of Mars (c. 1385)”. (source)
Green: Money and Greed
In American culture, it’s easy for US citizens to associate the color green with money since our paper bills are green.
Those are just two examples but there are tons of examples of how culture (and even ancient culture) has affected our view of colors.
Psychological Meaning of Colors
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Color psychology according to Wikipedia is…
“color psychology’ is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. Colors can also enhance the effectiveness of placebos. For example, red or orange pills are generally used as stimulants. Color can indeed influence a person; however, it is important to remember that these effects differ between people.”
I’m going to be real…I’m not a psychology major. In any way shape or form. I have no clue how they come up with their meanings. Here is an example taking from Empowered by Power on the color orange:
“Orange relates to ‘gut reaction’ or our gut instincts, as opposed to the physical reaction of red or the mental reaction of yellow.
Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.
The color psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. In fact orange is so optimistic and uplifting that we should all find ways to use it in our everyday life, even if it is just an orange colored pen that we use.“
I am not a fan of this type of interpretation and never follow this as a way of understanding symbols. I believe cultural interpretation carries more of a valid meaning than this. This is my opinion.
Therapeutic Meaning of Colors
Color therapy uses color to bring forth physical and emotional healing. It’s also known as chromopathy or chromotherapy. Some of this is backed in science and some of it isn’t. Most of it stems from ancient mythology (source). I would personally be careful with pursuing things of this nature since it’s deeply rooted in pagan beliefs.
You may have also heard of colored laser lights being beneficial for example red light lasers and blue light therapy. This would be classified under light therapy or laser therapy, different than chromotherapy.
Meaning of Colors in Dreams
You might have come to this post looking for answers because of a dream or vision you had. God does speak to us in dreams and sometimes certain colors are used to convey something to us. Dream interpretation is a different and intricate topic of its own beyond the symbolism of colors.
With dreams, the interpretation can be very personal to the dreamer. It’s not always cut and dry and there is no formula. A symbol can mean one thing this time and another thing another time. This is why Joseph was clear when he said…
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”Genesis 40:8
But understanding Biblical symbolism is important for us as we seek out the interpretation. It grounds us in the Word and helps piece things together that the Holy Spirit is showing us.
If a color is highlighted in a dream or vision I would recommend you do the following steps to understand its meaning.
- Write the dream out and make note of the prominent color(s) that stood out to you. Example: Blue House
- Look into scripture about the significance of that color. Take notes and if something is quickened in your spirit than write that down.
- Begin to pray about the dream and ask God to bring clarity about that color and the object attached to the color. If you sense anything from the Lord jot it down.
- Share the dream and the color you saw with a mature fellow sister or brother in Christ. Tell them what your sensing and ask for their thoughts and counsel.
- Pray over what you feel the color means and take action if you feel the Lord is leading to you.
Colors of the Tabernacle
If you have ever studied the tabernacle of Moses you will know it’s rich with typologies.
Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is the relationship between the Old Testament to the New Testament.
For example, persons, events, objects and even statements in the Old Testament are seen as “types” to events or aspects of Christ or His revelation described in the New Testament.
For this article, we will look at the 3 main colors used in the Tabernacle.
“Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker. Exodus 26:1
Tabernacle References to Color: Exodus 26:1, Exodus 27:16, Exodus 28:6, Numbers 4: 1-13
For a detailed account of the building of the tabernacle it can be found here: Exodus chapters 25-27 and Exodus Chapter 35-40
|Red (Scarlet)||Represents: Blood & Mankind|
|Blue||Represents: Heaven & Eternal Things|
|Purple||Represents: Royalty, Wealth, & Power|
These three colors and their meaning paint this beautiful picture of who Jesus is:
- Red/Man – Jesus, the Son of Man/Second Adam (Adam means ruddy) John 8:28 & 1 Corinthians 15:45
- Blue/Heaven – Jesus, the Son of God Luke 9:35 & Romans 1:4
- Purple/Royalty – Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords 1 Timothy 6:15 & Revelation 19:16
*You can read more about the colors below under the rainbow section. There you will find more information on each individual color.
Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors
I think most believers are familiar with Joseph’s coat of many colors. There are Sunday school coloring pages that kids can color in all the colors his fancy coat.
Even the entertainment world has emphasized his coat. In Disney’s Joseph: King of Dreams his coat is elaborate and colorful and let’s not forget Andrew Loyde Weber’s, Joseph and Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Let’s face the facts when we think of Joseph we think of two things: A colorful coat and dreams.
Even some people connect the two giving meaning to multicolor as meaning gifted in the prophetic.
So, there should be some significant meaning to his coat. Right? Well, brace yourself…I’m about to mess with your world.
Joseph’s coat has been the center of debate. It’s true…scholars are not sure about Joseph’s coat.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. Genesis 37:3 KJV
“Coat of many colors” in the Hebrew is “ketonet passīm” which according to the Strong’s Concordance means:
pas; from H6461; properly, the palm (of the hand) or sole (of the foot) (compare H6447); by implication (plural) a long and sleeved tunic (perhaps simply a wide one; from the original sense of the root, i.e. of many breadths):—(divers) colours
Should be simple enough, but many Biblical scholars believe that the English Translation of the Septuagint on this verse is fuzzy.
They say we don’t really know the meaning of ketonet passīm. You can see this dilemma in other translations of this verse (Genesis 37:3):
|NIV||“made an ornate robe”|
|ISV||“made a richly-embroidered tunic for him”|
|NRSV||“made him a long robe with sleeves”|
|NLT||“made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.”|
|CEV||“given Joseph a fancy coat”|
|CJB||“he made him a long-sleeved robe.”|
From what we can gather is that Joseph’s coat was decked out and had long sleeves. It is also, the same word used to describe Tamar’s (King David’s daughter) robe in 2 Samuel 13:18.
Now was it decked out with “colors”? Not sure. The Bible doesn’t give a break down of colors so we are left not knowing if his coat had colors. For all, we know it could have had one or two colors. What we do know is this:
- It was long-sleeved
- It was ornate
- It was the type of robe used for royalty
Dr. Claude Mariottini has a great article on this topic and goes in-depth. I highly recommend you check it out here: Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors
Colors in the Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is chock-full of symbolism. That’s what makes it hard at times to understand the meaning of certain portions of the book.
Colors are prevalent in Revelation. More than any other book in scripture. Many of the colors in the bible overlap creating a rich meaning and understanding of the color(s).
Throughout this article, we will touch on these colors, but for this portion. I want to give you a list of colors that are used in the Book of Revelation. If there is specific meaning to a color that won’t be included somewhere else in this post then I will add that to this portion.
Colors in Revelation
|Throne Room of Heaven||Emerald Rainbow: |
|The Four Horseman – Revelation 6:1-8||First Horse: White|
Second Horse: Red
(Bloodshed and War)
Third Horse: Black
Fourth Horse: Ashen
*Ashen: Pale Green Gray
(Death & Pestilence)
|Jesus Christ||Linen: White|
|The Enemy of God|| Dragon: Red|
The Great Prostitute:
Purple, Scarlet, & Gold
|The Saints, The Elders & God’s Army/Angels||Dressed in White|
|The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21 & 22||Many Colors|
*See more under
Rainbow & Gemstones
|Celestial Bodies||Moon: Red |
The Colored Gemstones of the Bible
I won’t be going into great detail about different gemstones as that is a study in and of itself. And it’s a fascinating study!
Scripture mentions numerous kinds of gemstones. Here are just a few:
The problem that arises from studying the color of gemstones in the Bible is that we are not 100% sure what color they are referencing of the stone. Some are easy to determine some not so much.
Here are two examples:
Onyx is one of the most mentioned stones in scripture. Most people know this to be a black stone. But the reality is that not all onyx is black. There are white onyx and other various colors.
Onyx is mentioned as the middle gemstone in the High Priest’s breastplate in Exodus 28:20. The word in Hebrew is shoham (Strong’s #H7718) meaning from an unused root probably mean to blanch; a gem, probably the beryl (from its pale green color):—onyx.
To blanch means to make pale. So, the stone used to represent the Tribe of Joseph is a pale or light colored onyx.
Now if we go to the Book of Revelation you will see that onyx is used as the 5th foundational stone in the New Jerusalem.
the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:20 NIV
Some translations will specify that it’s sardonyx (A type of reddish onyx) but some don’t.
So, here you are thinking the stone that represents Joseph’s tribe in the High Priest’s breastplate and the 5th foundation of the New Jerusalem is a black stone.
This then can give you a false idea or meaning to the color black.
The second example is Sapphire
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. Ezekiel 1:26
“Sapphire” in Ezekiel’s passage can be translated into two types of stones: Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli.
Sapphire are commonly blue but sapphires do come in different colors like yellow, pink, and green.
The saving grace to this scripture and understanding what color the throne of God, is that in the Hebrew it also translates Lapis Lazuli. This semi-precious stone is blue and only comes in blue!
These two examples should help you see that it’s VITAL as Christians that we study the Bible, especially when we are dealing with things that are helping us understanding something that is symbolic or prophetic in natural (end times, and dreams or visions).
Symbols can’t be taken at face value.
*The New Jerusalem is full of gemstones. If you trying to understand the meaning of them and their color then I highly recommend you get your study on. Just googling the stone is not going to help you.
You will have to look into the Hebrew and Greek in a Strongs Concordance. And I recommend accessing some commentary and Bible Dictionaries.
So, when it comes to understanding gemstones of the Bible and their colors. Please study the Word.
Here are some of my picks when it comes to Bible study tools:
Biblical Meaning of Colors in the Rainbow
Rainbows are one of the most stunning natural occurrences in our skies. It’s hard not to stop and just gaze at them.
I mean think about it there are countless songs, commercial slogans (“taste the rainbow” anybody?) and cartoons/movies about rainbows.
But these meteorological phenomenons are not just pretty to look at. Rainbows symbolize something very beautiful and precious to the Judeo-Christian faith.
The rainbow is found in Genesis (after the flood), Ezekiel (vision of the Throne Room of Heaven), and Revelation (over the Throne Room and over a mighty angel).
*It’s interesting to note that the colors of the rainbow come from the white light. Think about that when reading these verses.
- I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
Genesis’ Meaning of the Rainbow: Covenant, Promise, God’s Faithfulness
- Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. Ezekiel 1:28 NIV
Ezekiel’s Meaning of the Rainbow: God’s Glory and Majesty
- Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. Revelation 10:1 NIV
Revelation’s Meaning of the Rainbow: God’s Power and Radiance (even His servants the angels display it)
- And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Revelation 4:3
Here we see a green rainbow! How cool is that?! We can learn more about that under the color green.
All mention of rainbows in the Bible has a direct connection to the power, faithfulness, and glory of God!
Now, that we have looked at the rainbow as a whole, let’s take a look at individual colors. Some of these colors are extremely symbolic and have multiple meanings.
The Spiritual Meaning of Red
This color is packed to the brim with symbolic meaning. It’s probably one of the most intricate out of all the colors.
Red in scripture is also called: Scarlet
*Red is a primary color and cannot be formulated by mixing other colors. “Oudem” is the Hebrew root word for Adam, Esau. and Edom. “Oudem” means “red clay.”
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Red
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Blood of Christ/Atonement/Pentecost||Exodus 12:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19,|
Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 17:11,
1 John 1:7
|Covenant||Matthew 26:28, Exodus 24:8, |
|The Flesh/ Mankind||Adam* see above note|
|God/Jesus||Revelation 4:2-3, Rev 19:13–15|
|Self-Righteousness|| Isa. 64:6 (Filthy rags is referring |
to menstruation rags)
|Wealth||2 Samuel 1:24, Proverbs 31:21|
|War/Warrior/Bloodshed||Revelation 6:1-8, Nahum 2:3|
|Judgment/Wrath of God|| Isaiah 63:1-3, Revelation 6:12-13, |
The Mystery of Crimson or Scarlet Worm
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6
Psalm 22 is considered a Messianic psalm referencing what Christ would have to endure. Jesus even quotes many parts of Psalm 22 while on the cross.
The common word for a worm in Hebrew is “Rimmah“. The word for “worm” in Psalm 22:6 is “Tow-la-ath.”
It’s referencing a specific type of worm. One that was used to create the colors of crimson and scarlet.
This little worm (Towlaath) would fix herself on a tree to protect her unborn children. She would then sacrifice herself for her children by letting them consume her body. This would result in the tree, and her children being stained red. She would leave a vivid red mark on the tree that would leave.
This is a beautiful picture of Jesus shedding his precious blood on a tree (cross) for us. And much like communion, we partake of his body (the bread) and the wine (His blood.
The Spiritual Meaning of Orange
The color orange is never referenced in the Bible. This leaves us in a little bit of a dilemma to fully understanding the color. The best we can do is look at other symbols in scripture that are orange. From there take some significant meaning towards the color.
These are some elements/symbols from scripture that are orange:
- Iron Ore
- Fire (multi-colored)
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Orange
|SYMBOL & REFERENCE||SPIRITUAL MEANING|
|Rust – Ezek 24:6, Matt 6:19-20||Corruption|
|Iron Ore – Jer 6:28||Rebellion|
|Pottery – Psa 31:12, Hos 8:8||Vessel – Person|
|Fire – 1 Peter 1:7, Hebrews 12:29||Purification – Power of God|
*The references for Pottery/clay and Fire are extensive in scripture. I have only provided a few verses to provide a reference for the meaning.
The Spiritual Meaning of Yellow
The actual word “yellow” is used 4 times in the KJV. but various shades are mentioned. Below is a list of colors of yellow in Scripture:
I will not write about gold in this section as gold’s symbolism stands on its own since it’s also a precious metal.
If you are looking for the meaning of the color gold then scroll down and you will find it in Other Colors.
KEY THINGS TO NOTE
- Olive oil is naturally a yellow hue and was used in making Anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-25)
- Fire is multicolored containing the color of yellow. It can also be used as an understanding of the color yellow (Purification – Power of God), like orange and red.
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Yellow
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Anointing (oil)||Exodus 30:22-25, 1 Samuel 16:13|
|Glory/God’s Presence/Heavenly Hosts||Daniel 10, Ezekiel 8:2|
It’s important to note that I personally don’t include certain scripture to mean yellow, while some would consider them yellow.
For example, many people consider the word “light” to mean yellow.
Light is actually white unless specifically noted as different. This makes verses like John 8:12 clearer.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The Spiritual Meaning of Green
When it comes to the color green we automatically think of life and growth. And for good reason. Plants, trees, flowers, and other vegetation is filled with the color green. It’s like the picture painted in Psalm 1…. “planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither”
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Green
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Life/Growth||Jeremiah 11:16, Isaiah 15:6, |
|Fruitful||Psalm 92:13-13, Jeremiah 11:16, |
As you can see above green is a sign of life, growth, and fruitfulness, The word flourish comes to mind.
I will briefly touch on the topic of the green rainbow in the throne room of heaven.
And He Who sat there appeared like [the crystalline brightness of] jasper and [the fiery] sardius, and encircling the throne there was a halo that looked like [a rainbow of] emerald. Revelation 4:3 AMP
From what we can gather in scripture we know that the rainbow represents covenant and green life/growth. This paints a picture of God’s everlasting flourishing glory and majesty.
The Spiritual Meaning of Blue
The color blue is seen all over scripture much like red and purple. Blue is widely understood to represent the heavenly realm and the presence of God (the precious Holy Spirit as well).
We all know there are various types of blue and some even venture near purple. The blue hue of indigo is found in the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament over 40 times.
Blue is also the nation of Israel’s color dating all the way back to King David.
Just like how green gets symbolic meaning from vegetation you will see the same with blue when it comes to elements of water. So, keep this in mind when looking at the symbolic meaning.
For example in Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The word for heaven is Shamayim which is related to Mayim (water).
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Blue
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|The Heavens/God’s Throne||Ezekiel 10:1, 1:26|
|Life (water)||John 4:13-14, Revelation 21:6|
|Healing (The Tallit and Tzitzit)||Matthew 9:21|
|The Lord’s Commandments||Numbers 15:38-40|
The Spiritual Meaning of Purple
Purple dye was rare and highly praised in Biblical times. This is why purple is usually associated with royalty and wealth. To get the dye they would have to harvest it from a sea snail/mollusk.
This was a costly task therefore purple was reserved for the wealthy.
You will see purple used a lot in the tabernacle as a represents God’s wealth, power and most of all royalty.
Jesus is the Lord of Lord and the King of Kings! Hallelujah!
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Purple
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Wealth & Power||Revelation 18:16, Luke 16:19|
|Corruption of Wealth||Revelation 17:4|
Other Colors in the Bible
The Spiritual Meaning of Gold
To understand the symbolic meaning of gold you have to look at it as a whole and not just a “color“. Gold is a precious metal that happens to be a certain deep color of yellow.
Gold is first mentioned in Genesis 2:12….
“And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.”
Gold is mentioned 417 times in the KJV. That’s a LOT of gold. And you can see here how this element is multifaceted and that color is only one side of understanding its symbolism.
A few key things to know about gold which carry a lot of spiritual meaning:
- Pure gold never tarnishes or reacts
- Pure gold never needs cleaning
- Pure gold never ages
- Our bodies contain about 0.2 milligrams of gold for a 154 pound person, most of it is found in the heart and blood (source)
- For Gold to be purified it must be heated
So, in this portion, I will give you a basic Biblical meaning of gold. I hope in the near future to go deeper into gold and silver’s symbolism.
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Gold
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Wealth & Power||Zechariah 6:10-11, Ezekiel 7:14|
|Psalm 12:6, 2 Timothy 2:20-21,|
Zechariah 13:9, 1 Corinthians 3:12-14
|Empires (nations)||Daniel 2:32 -33, Zechariah 6:10-11|
|Isaiah 2:20, Ezekiel 7:14, |
The Spiritual Meaning of Silver
Exactly like gold, silver must be looked at as a whole and not just for its color. Majority of the time when scripture talks about silver it’s talking about the metal, not the color. So, please make mental note of that and if unsure check a Bible dictionary or concordance.
Silver is precious metal used throughout ancient history and still today. It’s mentioned 320 times in the KJV. In the Bible, it has a strong symbolism towards redemption.
In the Old Testament, a silver shekel was collected from all the men and used for repairs for the Tabernacle and temple in Jerusalem. This was called the shekel of redemption. Also, during Passover Jews use four silver cups. Each cup representing an aspect of redemption from Egypt.
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Silver
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Refinement||Psalm 66:10, Psalm 12:6|
|Wealth|| 1Kings 10:27 |
(Before Solomon Silver was costly.)
|Empires (nations)||Daniel 2:32 – 33|
Spiritual Meaning of White
White is probably the easiest color for us to understand, but it is quite deep. White is mentioned throughout the Old and the New Testament.
I mentioned this above in yellow but I think it’s worth mentioning it again. Light is not yellow but actually white.
Most of the time white is symbolizing holiness, righteousness, and purity. I remember when I got saved I had an encounter with the Lord where I saw my parents transformed (they are both born again believers). They wore brilliant white robes and they glistened like gold. Something I will never forget. You can read more of my testimony here.
My parents were clothed in white and were radiant because of their acceptance of Jesus in their lives. They were made holy and righteous through the precious blood of Christ!
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18
Some key things about the color white:
- A lot of the verses below can overlap each other in meaning.
- You will see many verses where Jesus, angels, and the saints are clothed in white.
Symbolic Meaning to the Color White
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Holiness & Righteousness||Daniel 7:9, Mark 9:3, John 20:12|
Revelation 2:17, Revelation 3:4
|Cleansed||Isaiah 1:18, Revelation 7: 9-14|
|Purity||Isaiah 1:18, Mark 9:3, Revelation 3:4|
Ecclesiastes 9:8, Psalm 51:7,
Matthew 23:27 (false purity)
|Jesus/God||Matthew 28:3, Revelation 20:11|
|The Enemy||2 Corinthians 11:14 (disguises himself)|
Spiritual Meaning of Black
Much like white, we have some understanding of what it means. Mostly because it’s is viewed as being the opposite of white and light. When we think black we think of darkness (more on darkness below).
It’s interesting to note the Urim and Thummin were referred to being a white stone and a black stone that was worn over the heart of the high priest. Exodus 28:30
Here is some additional information.
Some translate the words urim and thummin to mean “curse” and “blessing,” others simply “dark” and “light,” although the literal translation seems to be “light” and “perfections.” There is no proof that there were only two items; some early rabbis believed that the urim and thummin were a series of stones with Hebraic characters on them by which the Lord could spell out a message for the high priest. However, most scholars believe them to be two sticks or stones, perhaps precious stones, that God used in a miraculous way to reveal His will. They were used for national decisions like going to war, and for priestly matters. (Source)
Because there is not enough clarity to the meaning of the thummin I won’t be adding it into the chart below. But I did want to share it with you since it is black and was used by God to help the nation of Israel know the will of God.
Then there is the famous verse from Song of Solomon 1:5, which I love!
Dark am I, yet lovely,
daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
like the tent curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
This is a beautiful picture of how even in our darkness (sin) God desires (loves) us and considered us lovely. And it’s when we are married to Him (come into relationship with Him through His son Jesus) that He washes us pure with the blood of Jesus.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Now let’s take a look at other scripture references.
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Black
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Sin/Temptation||Micha 7:8-9, Proverbs 7:9-10,|
|Judgment||Jeremiah 4:28, Revelation 6:12, |
Revelation 6:1-8, Jude 1:13
|The Night||Isaiah 50:3, Proverbs 7:9-10,|
|Curse||Job 3:1-5, 2 Peter 2:17,|
|God Hidden – Mysteries of God||(See Below on Darkness)|
|Evil/The Enemy||1 Thessalonians 5:5 (the opposite)|
What About Darkness? Is Darkness Evil?
I won’t go super deep into this topic, but here is a little insight into it.
To our eye darkness is a type of color. It can range in shades but the key element of it is that it’s hard to see.
It’s easy for us to automatically think of darkness = evil. And yes the enemy does use the darkness. The first time darkness is mentioned is in the creation story of Genesis. “Darkness was upon the face of the deep”
Key things to note before we move on is….
- God created darkness. It is a created thing.
- Satan can NOT create, he can only take what God has done and twist it.
- God is omnipresent (He is everywhere – Psalm 139:8)
- God, unlike us, isn’t afraid of darkness.
Darkness is the Hebrew word: Choshekh Rabbinical interpretation of this word is “opaque matter” or “Hard to discern, obscure, unseen, hidden”
God at times has used darkness to conceal Himself…
|Exodus 20:21||The people remained at a distance, |
while Moses approached the thick
darknesswhere God was.
|Psalm 18:11||He made darkness his covering, |
his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
|Genesis 15:12||As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a |
deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful
darkness came over him.
|Psalm 97:2||Clouds and thick darkness surround him;|
righteousness and justice are the
foundation of his throne.
|Deuteronomy 5:22||These are the commandments the |
Lord proclaimed in a loud voice
to your whole assembly there on
the mountain from out
of the fire, the cloud and the
deep darkness; and he added nothing
more. Then he wrote them on two
stone tabletsand gave them to me.
I like how Bill Cloud puts it, “Light symbolizes His presence, His Word revealed. Darkness symbolizes His Presence, which is His Word that is concealed. “
Spiritual Meaning of Brown
I think the color brown is probably passed by quite a bit when studying colors in the Bible. I mean it’s hard to compete with red, blue, and purple. But brown has a lot of symbolic meaning to it.
Brown is only mentioned 4x in the KJV. And all of those instances are in Genesis 30. It’s the story of Jacob increasing his flock by obtaining those that are speckled/spotted or brown.
The brown or speckled goats and lambs were not as prized as the other solid white goats and lambs. So, Laben (Jacob’s father in law) was ok with him acquiring them.
Some take this to mean compassion, others acceptance. It’s a picture of Jesus the Great Shepherd accepting us with all our flaws and impurities.
Because brown is only mentioned in the Genesis reference, many tend to pull from objects that are brown to help get a better understanding of what it could mean. Much like green and orange.
For example, wood is brown. Wood’s symbolism is linked to salvation. Here are some key points on wood.
- Fall of man – (tree: wood)
- Noah’s Ark – (made of wood led to the salvation of mankind)
- The Ark of the Covenant – (made of wood)
- The Cross ( Made of wood led to the salvation of mankind)
Symbolic Meaning to the Color Brown
|SYMBOLIC MEANING||SCRIPTURE REFERENCE|
|Acceptance / Compassion||Genesis 30: 24-42|
|Humanity or Flesh||Genesis 3:19 (dust/dirt), Luke 10:11, |
2 Timothy 2:20-21 (wood)
|Salvation||The Cross and Noah’s Ark – Wood|
Colors of Salvation
Many Sunday schools and new believers use this lesson of breaking down the process of our salvation through colors. It is a fun and easy way for us to understand our salvation.
It can also be a handy tool to use to describe salvation when evangelizing. Some Christian retailers and Amazon sell bracelets with the beads matching these colors. This is to help open up a conversation with someone about Jesus.
“Hey…cool bracelet…” ….BOOM start telling them about Jesus!
Now, this is not something that is mentioned in scripture. There are no “colors of salvation” verses. But it’s a neat tool for growth and evangelism.
It does use colors in symbolic form which helps you to understand the Biblical meaning of colors. Though it is very limited.
Here are the colors of salvation in order:
- Black to represent Sin – Romans 2:23
- Red represents The Blood of Jesus – Romans 3:35
- Blue to represent Baptism – Mark 16:16
- White to represent Purity – Psalm 57:1
- Green to represent Spiritual Growth – 2 Peter 3:18
- Yellow to represent Heaven (City of Gold) – Revelation 21:18-21
Below is an infographic. Feel free to pin it for later reference.
Biblical Meaning of Colors Conclusion
If you have made it to this part congratulations you have read a lot of the topic of colors in the Bible or you have amazing scrolling skills. Either way, I hope this article has helped you learn about the Biblical meaning of colors.
I also hope it has stirred up your hunger to grow in God’s word and to dig deep. There is so much he wants to reveal to and His heart is to draw you near to him.
Please leave me a comment below and share your thoughts on learning about colors in the Bible.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…