In this article, we will dive into God’s word and learn about orange in the Bible. We will explore the symbolic and spiritual meaning as well. Let’s get started…
As I have been diving into the world of colors we have now reached the beautiful color of orange. Frank Sinatra once said that, “orange is the happiest of colors.” And the color in our culture conveys a bright cheery emotion, while reminding us of the fall season. All because of pumpkins and leaves turning various shades of orange and yellow.
Now, orange is made of a mix of red and yellow together. It is the second color in the rainbow and is considered a secondary color. But orange is a little of an odd duck when it comes to learning about it in scripture and figuring out it’s symbolic and spiritual meaning.
So, in this study we will have look at different elements in scripture that are the color orange and try to get grasp of what orange could mean in the Bible.
Orange in the Bible
So, what came first the orange or…. orange? Yup, I’m talking about the fruit orange! The word, orange started being used in the 14th century and around 1510 people started associating the color orange with the name of the fruit. According to etymonline.com...
late 14c., in reference to the fruit of the orange tree (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French orange, orenge (12c., Modern French orange), from Medieval Latin pomum de orenge, from Italian arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), an alteration of Arabic naranj, from Persian narang, from Sanskrit naranga-s “orange tree,” a word of uncertain origin.
Not used as a color word in English until 1510s (orange color), “a reddish-yellow color like that of a ripe orange.” Colors similar to modern orange in Middle English might be called citrine or saffron. Loss of initial n- probably is due to confusion with the definite article (as in une narange, una narancia), but also perhaps was by influence of French or “gold.”
The name of the town of Orange in France (see Orangemen) perhaps was deformed by the name of the fruit. Orange juice is attested from 1723.
How many times is the color orange mentioned in the Bible?
Not one single time will you read the word orange in the Bible. Since the word, orange is relatively new it’s actually not found anywhere in scripture or any other ancient texts. This is what makes this study hard. You can’t just grab verses and start the study them. But what you can do is try connect certain key elements in scripture to allude to the color orange.
The Symbolic and Spiritual Meaning of Orange
So, how do we understand the symbolic and spiritual meaning behind a color that doesn’t exist in scripture? This is when you try to bridge to gap with Biblical elements, and objects that are predominantly orange. Some key items we see that have an orange hue are:
- Fire (multi-colored)
- Iron Ore
|SPIRITUAL MEANING OF ORANGE||BIBLE REFERENCE|
|Ezekiel 24:6, Matthew 6:19-20|
|Iron Ore: |
|Psalm 31:12, Hosea 8:8|
|Fire: God Presence, |
|1 Peter 1:7, Hebrews 12:29,|
Fire: God’s Holy Fire and Judgement
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” -Exodus 3:2-5
Fire is probably one of the best elements in the Bible to connect with orange. But fire is also multicolored. We see red, yellow, and even blue at times. I mention this in my study on the color yellow. So, you can’t easily slap fire with one specific color, but orange is a prominent color.
SIDE NOTE: The Bible does mention the term, fiery red or flame of fire several times. This could have been a type of orange color the author is trying to describe, since a word for the color orange was not yet used.
Fire is deeply symbolic in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Fire many times symbolizes the presence of God and His power. Not to mention fire is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, refinement, and that the gift of tongues appeared as fire. (Acts 2:3)
- Ex. 14:19
- Num. 11:13
- Judg. 13:20
- 1 Kings 18:38
- 2 Kings 1:10
- Isa. 6:4
- Ezek. 1:4
- Rev. 1:14
I love how Smith’s Bible dictionary describes this connection between fire and God:
Fire, is represented as the symbol of Jehovah’s presence and the instrument of his power, in the way either of approval or of destruction. (Exodus 3:2; 14:19) etc. There could not be a better symbol for Jehovah than this of fire, it being immaterial, mysterious, but visible, warming, cheering, comforting, but also terrible and consuming.
But fire also has another side to it’s meaning and that is punishment, judgement, and even trials.
- Zech. 12:6
- Luke 12:49
- 1 Cor. 3:13-15
- 1 Pet. 1:7
- Matt. 5:22
- Mark 9:44
- Rev. 14:10, 21:8
Discover More Colors in the Bible
Orange is just one color…Imagine learning about more colors. Especially ones like red and blue. I know for me when I started studying colors; it opened up my eyes to how rich the Bible’s symbolism is. If this interests you, please check out my article on the Ultimate Guide to Colors in the Bible. This goes deep into everything that deals with colors in the Bible.
If you would like to learn about individual colors, then click on the links below:
What about dreams about colors?
I know this study on orange in the Bible is not super deep, like other colors in the Bible. Especially red, and purple. But it’s the best I could with the lack of scriptural resources. I do believe the connect between orange and fire does shed some light on what this color spiritual means.
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…