MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

My Scripture Studies
Relationship - Not Religion

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Biblical Symbols and Keys


This post is different from the usual. It may seem a bit academic, but its not. The goal is to help you see that the symbols in the Bible have a Hebraic meaning, a graphic depiction, a parable-like key if you will -- that God provides as a visual aid or signpost to convey the depth, meaning and insight of what God teaches.

Working together like a 3-D road map these include numbers, directions, colors, animals, precious metals and so on.

Imagine trying to read aloud without first learning the alphabet and phonics or drive down the road without a sign. It is much the same when we begin to understand the meaning of the Bible's symbols and types. They provide keys to Biblical literacy, that is knowing God's will for your life from the Bible.

The journey can be helped with the ability to understand the words and decode them so that a deeper understanding of God's Word shines like a bright light.

The beauty of the Bible's symbols and keys is that we can begin to connect with the Word of God as He gives us glimpses of His glory and mystery.

It's not so easy. The thing is, God wants us to search Him out, it's the honor of a king to do so. Proverbs 25:2 tells us so:
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."
Biblical imagery through symbols and keys as well numbers allows our eyes to open and our ears to hear as the Scriptures unlock the timeless, Heavenly messages our Creator has embedded into His living word. This is declared in the Psalm:
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." Psalm 32:8
We can gain much insight by studying the Hebraic symbols used in God's Word and gain a better connection to the Hebrew text and deeper revelation to understand how God weaves the light of the life giving water of His two-edged sword of truth and its promise of restoration through the work of Messiah.

There are many Biblical depths and dimension to the Scriptures and they are there to encourage you in faith and point you to Messiah and His redemption. The following lists give just a few of them, but I've included some resources I've found that you may also find helpful as you link the pages of Scripture to your heart. I pray these will help too.

The Bible's image keys will help you see Messiah throughout the storylines of the Scriptures. When you begin to do that, you'll come to realize the Bible is not about religion, its about life:

Numbers in Scripture:
  • One = Beginning, unity, Elohim-God
  • Two = Witness
  • Three = Complete
  • Four = Wholeness of physical creation
  • Five = Torah teaching, mercy and grace
  • Six = Mankind
  • Seven = Perfection, rest
  • Eight = Restoration, Resurrection
  • Nine = Divine Judgment and Order
  • Ten = Perfection
  • Eleven = Disorder, confusion
  • Twelve = Foundation of the King of King’s government
  • Thirteen = Rebellion
  • Fourteen = Deliverance and salvation
  • Fifteen = Completion of God's Kingdom
  • Twenty = Time of waiting
  • Twenty four = Priesthood
  • Thirty = Maturity, readiness
  • Forty = Trial, testing
  • Forty two = Completion of a journey
  • Fifty = Freedom, restoration
  • Sixty = Pride and arrogance
  • Sixty-six = Idol, false worship
  • Seventy = Nations, completeness
  • One Hundred and twenty = Fullness of time
  • One Hundred forty-four = Perfect government
  • One Hundred fifty-three = Fruit bearing
  • Six Hundred = Warfare

Interestingly, if we review the meaning of the numbers six, sixty and six hundred; one message embedded in Revelation 13:15-18 is: Mankind + pride and arrogance = warfare

For more on the wisdom of Biblical numbers online: BibleStudy.org provides an excellent reference.

Colors in Scripture:
  • White = Purity, righteousness
  • Red = Blood, offering sacrifice, ransom for life
  • Blue = Healing, instruction, faithfulness
  • Purple = Royalty, Kingship
  • Gold = Perfection, God’s word, glory
  • Silver = Redemption
  • Green = Life, growth, restoration
  • Black = Famine, death, sin

In addition to adding definition to numbers, BibleStudy.org provides an excellent reference on understanding colors shown in the Bible.

But there is more, much more that calls for wisdom and understanding. Other Biblical symbols, image types and keys include:

The Human Body in Scripture:
  • Head = Thought, mind, memory, intelligence, leadership
  • Heart = Center of life, seat of emotion
  • Blood = Life through sacrifice
  • Eyes = Spiritual vision, wisdom, discernment, insight
  • Ear = Spiritual hearing, reception of faith
  • Nose = Breath, discernment
  • Face = Favor, friendly regard, permission
  • Shoulders = Seat of God's government, strength
  • Belly = Emotion
  • Arm = Strength, power, support
  • Hands = Tools of ministry, deeds, works, action
  • Legs = Support and strength of the body
  • Thigh = Symbol of stabilizing our walk
  • Knee = Symbol of reverence and humility
  • Heal = Power to crush, stomp
  • Feet = Way of life, walk following God
  • Bowels = Inner man
  • Tongue = Language

Compass Directions in Scripture:
  • North = Power and authority
  • South = Refreshment
  • East = God's light and glory
  • West = End of the age
  • Up = Going forward toward God
  • Down = Going away from God, backsliding
  • Return = Repentance

Clothing in Scripture:
  • Wool = Warmth and comfort
  • Linen = Righteousness and purity
  • Flax = Weakness of mankind
  • Robe = Covering of righteousness

Metals in Scripture:
  • Gold = Perfection
  • Silver = Redemption
  • Copper, Bronze = Judgment of sin
  • Iron = Man’s weakness, rebellion, crushing, unyielding
  • Tin = Worthlessness, weakness, impure character
  • Lead = Weight, heaviness of the heart

Heavenly Bodies in Scripture:
  • Sun = Life, glory, light
  • Moon = light reflector
  • Stars = Abraham's heavenly descendants, Israel, messengers, light bearers
  • Falling Stars = apostates, betrayal, blasphemers

Trees in Scripture:
  • Almond = Resurrection from death
  • Cedars = Power, majesty, royalty
  • Hemlock = Wormwood, false worship, calamity
  • Mulberry = Battle, broken heart
  • Oak = Strength
  • Fig = Israel, fruitfulness
  • Myrtle = Blessing
  • Palm = Reverence, victory
  • Pine = Fragrance and beauty
  • Olive = Life, spirit, light, peace
  • Pomegranate = Abundance and joyfulness
  • Willow = Weeping and heartbreak

Animals in Scripture:
  • Bear = Evil, cunning, cruel men
  • Beast = Worldly political kingdoms, devouring religion, paganism
  • Bull = Strength, labor, servanthood
  • Calf = Praise, joyful thanksgiving
  • Camel = Service, burden bearer
  • Dog = Unbelievers, hypocrites
  • Donkey = Stubbornness
  • Dove = Gentleness, Holy Spirit
  • Eagle = Vision, swiftness, rising above
  • Fish = Souls of men
  • Fox = Cunning evil men
  • Frogs = Liars, boastful croaking
  • Goat = Shaggy, sinners
  • Horse = Military power in battle, conquest, war
  • Lamb = Offering, Messiah
  • Lion = King, ruler
  • Owl = Dark evil spirit, night bird
  • Ox = Strength, service, sacrifice
  • Ram = Man's stubborn state, self-willed, wild state
  • Serpent = Satan, deception
  • Sheep = God's people, defenseless except by a shepherd
  • Wolf = False teachers

Insects in Scripture
  • Flies = Evil spirit, filth, satan's domain
  • Grasshopper = Multitudes, destructive
  • Locust= Devouring destruction
  • Scorpion = Evil spirits, evil men, pain
  • Worm = Despised

Other Symbols and Types in Scripture:
  • Angel = Messenger
  • Air = Dark spiritual power
  • Ark = Safety
  • Babylon = Whoredoms, religious apostasy and mixing
  • Bow = Success in battle against evil
  • Bread = Life-sustaining living Word of God
  • Brick = Slavery, work of men's hands, false worship
  • Chaff = Sin, uselessness
  • Cities = Man’s religious governments
  • Clay = Frailness of the human flesh
  • Clothing = Torah based character
  • Crowns = Kingship, victory
  • Cup = Suffering
  • Day = Measurement of time
  • Dust = Humanity
  • Dark Clouds = Trouble
  • Earth = Man’s domain
  • Earthquake = Shaking of society, revolution
  • Eat = Take in the message
  • Egypt = Confusion, worldliness, bondage
  • Eye salve = Truth, antidote for spiritual blindness
  • False Prophet = Liar, deceiver
  • Famine = Lack of truth and spiritual discernment
  • Field = Land, the world
  • Fire = Trials, purifying and testing
  • Fornication = False idol worship
  • Fruit = Action, works, doing
  • Garments = Covering of righteousness
  • Grass = Masses of mankind
  • Hail = Hard truth, divine judgment
  • Harlot = Idol worshipper, corrupt, apostate
  • Harvest = Ingathering
  • Healing = Salvation
  • Honey = Happy life
  • Horn = Strength and power, rulers, man’s government


Even more...
  • Image = Likeness
  • Islands = Organizations of people
  • Jar = Vessel, person
  • Lamp = Indwelling Spirit of God, Holy Scripture
  • Lightning = Flashes, diffusion of truth and knowledge
  • Light = God Almighty
  • Leprosy = Sickness, sin leading to death
  • Measuring Rod = God’s Word
  • Merchants = Selling false teachings and requiring tithes
  • Mountain = Political religion, man’s kingdom governments
  • Name = Authority, reputation, purpose
  • Night = Spiritual darkness, wrath, judgment
  • Oil = Holy Spirit, anointing
  • Pit = Without a Bible foundation
  • Plague = Wrath of God on sin
  • Rain = Blessings
  • Rock = Truth
  • Sackcloth = Mourning, sorrow
  • Salt = Incorruptible life, preservation
  • Sand = People, multitudes
  • Scepter = Power, authority, kingship
  • Sea = Restless mass of humanity, unruly people, nations
  • Seal = Sign or mark of approval or disapproval
  • Seat = Power of authority
  • Seed = Message of truth
  • Shield = Faith and truth
  • Sickle = Reaping
  • Stiff-necked = Stubbornness, resistance to God’s authority
  • Sweat = Man's efforts and work
  • Sword = Word of God
  • Tabernacle = God’s existence
  • Tares = Children of error
  • Thorns = Sin’s curse
  • Trees = Prominent men
  • Trumpet/Shofar = Warning of God's coming approach
  • Torment = Test by trial
  • Two-edged sword = Blessings and curses
  • Valley = Lowly and meek
  • Virgin = Pure, clean
  • Wings = Protection, deliverance
  • Water = Truth, God’s Word of life
  • Wheat = Faithful followers, children of truth
  • Wind = God’s Spirit, breath of life
  • Winds = Man’s strife, commotions, wars
  • Wine = Blood covenant of life, good doctrine
  • Whoredoms = Idolatry, false doctrines, unclean
  • Wormwood = Bitterness, lies
  • Yoke = Servitude, bond servant fellowship
Don't stop here. This list just scratches the surface of the depth of meaning for the symbols and keys found in the scrolls of Scripture and there are plenty of online resources that are broader and more extensive than this listing that can benefit you.

There's much more to learn and it's really important to understand the context of the culture of the people of the Bible. For example, the word of God is full of Hebrew idioms that need to be uncovered.

For further study you can check these resources: Published in 1980 and updated in 1996 the Dictionary of Bible Themes by Martin H. Manser is a good tool as well as  The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols Understanding Their Meaning and Significance by: Neil Wilson, Nancy Ryken Taylor.

One of my favorite study aids is the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey.

Finally, in addition to unlocking Scripture through an understanding of numbers, symbols and types, there are hundreds of Hebraisms (Hebrew idioms) found in the Newer Testament that are explained verse by verse in this book that will open your eyes. One of the first things you will see is the Jewish roots of the faith of the disciples and Messiah: Hebraisms in the Original Renewed Covenant by Rabbi Julio Dam. Published in 2015.

Ancient Hebrew Idioms by Wayne Leman and for an even deeper study of over 500 idioms embedded in the Bible, you can enrich your understanding with Treasure of Hebrew IdiomsInterpreting The Symbols and Types by Kevin J. Conner.

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