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Questions tagged [symbolism]

Examination of Metaphorical, Prophetic, and Mystical symbolism. However, figures-of-speech, or euphemisms, or word-study should be used separately.

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Bread...and Fish? - Feeding of the Multitudes

I'm currently looking into John 6, and one detail that sticks out to me is this: In both instances of feeding the masses (i.e. the Feeding of the 4000 & of the 5000), Jesus had specifically been ...
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Priestly Garment

In Exodus 39 instructions are given that the garment of the high priest was to be woven so that it could not be torn. In Matthew 26:62-65, Caiaphas rends his clothing when charging Jesus with ...
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Scholarly sources for numeric symbolism in the Old and New Testaments?

I'm wondering if anyone knows a good scholarly/academic source for the study of numbers and their significance in the Old and New Testaments? I often come across remarks about the Hebrew and/or ...
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Isaiah 41:1 use of the terms "coastlands" and "islands" a reference to heathen nations as in any nation Other Than the chosen nation of Israel

Isaiah 41:1 NASB 1995 “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. Isaiah 41:1 NKJV “...
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Why did God provide a ram and not a lamb for Abraham?

God provides a ram and not a lamb for Abraham as a sacrifice. I've been taught, and I believe it makes sense, that the provided ram was a foreshadowing of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God. Genesis ...
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What is an "ephod" and what is its meaning?

In many episodes of the Judges, Samuel and other books, the "ephod" is referenced as the symbol of religious and civil power. However, what is an "ephod", exactly? What is its ...
Starnuto di topo's user avatar
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2 answers
115 views

Is it a valid to see Jesus in the boat in Luke 5:3-4 and out of the boat in John 21:4-6 as symbolic physical presence with respect to the call?

In Luke 5:3-4 Jesus was in the boat when initiating the miraculous catch leading into the call for Peter to leave fishing for fish to fish for men (Luke 5:10-11) at the beginning of Jesus ministry on ...
Perry Webb's user avatar
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Interpreting Isaiah 25:5(a) & (b) use of "heat in a drought or dry place" reducing the "uproar of aliens or strangers or foreigners"

Isaiah 25:5 New American Standard Bible 1995 5 (a) Like heat in drought, (b) You subdue the uproar of aliens; (c) Like heat by the shadow of a cloud, (d) the song of the ruthless is [a]...
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Why does Isaiah 17 begin as a prophetic disciplinary declaration against the Arameans , but then later on also includes the Israelites?

Isaiah 17 begins as a prophetic disciplinary declaration over Damascus ( major city in Kingdom of Aram ( i.e the Arameans ). However, starting from Isaiah 17:3-8, said declaration takes a sort of ...
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are remnants(leftovers) in Isaiah 17:4-6 symbolic of the Godly remnant of Israelites who are mercifully, compassionately & graciously spared by God?

Sorry, I might just be asking the obvious. Isaiah 17:3-7 New American Standard Bible 1995 3 “The [a]fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, And [b]sovereignty from Damascus And the remnant of ...
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Deeper contextual understanding of Isaiah 14:29b's reference to "serpent's root" , "viper" , "flying serpent"

Isaiah 14:28-30 New American Standard Bible 1995 28 In the year that King Ahaz died this [a]oracle came: 29 “Do not rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For ...
user1338998's user avatar
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Old->New Testament symbolism holdovers (Garden of Eden)

I get the impression that there are many nuances in making hermeneutics across the Old/New Testament. I will limit this to the Garden of Eden symbolism in the interest of keeping the scope of my ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
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6 answers
5k views

Who, or what, are the "four living creatures", as introduced in Revelation 4:6,7 & 8?

It would appear that the answer can hardly be found in the "Earthly" realm. The answer has to be found in the "Heavenly" realm, given the close relationship to the "Almighty&...
Olde English's user avatar
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Are the living waters in John 7:38-39 the same as in Revelation 7:17?

Is is said during the last day of the feast of Tabernacles Christ called upon all who believe to come and drink the living waters which seem to point to the giving of the Holy Spirit. John 7:38 If ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
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What are the bulls of Bashan? [duplicate]

Mentioned in Amos 4:1 "cow of Bashan who are on the hill of Bashan" Searched https://www.gotquestions.org and got no answer. Note: this is a different question from the one regarding Ps. 22....
Richard C's user avatar
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2 answers
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Judges 7:5-7 Is lapping like dogs meant to test for vigilance?

In Judges 7, God is reducing the number of men Gideon will use to fight the Midianites. God does this twice in this chapter. First, in v3 God tells Gideon to whosoever is fearful and afraid should ...
Greg's user avatar
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According to the text, are the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil symbolic or actual trees?

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for ...
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What are the significance of these three items

“He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ...
Nihil Sine Deo's user avatar
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2 answers
432 views

Is the blood of Christ for our forgiveness or his death for our forgiveness or both somehow?

My question arises from my study on the blood of Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross. The scriptures seem to teach that both his death and his shed blood were for the forgiveness of sins. ...
Jamesstas's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
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What is the meaning of "horn of my salvation"?

2Sa 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock,...
Pieter Rousseau's user avatar
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3 answers
435 views

Does "saved" mean the same thing in 2 Samuel 3:18 & Ephesians 2:8?

2 Samuel 3:18 speaks of David saving Israel: 18 Now then do it: for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
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What is meant by ‘number of a man’ in Rev. 13:18?

What does it mean when the text say that this 666 number is the number of a man? To what aspect of the symbolism does this phrase point?
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5 votes
2 answers
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What is the significance/symbolism of the "gate" being made of pearl?

In prophetic writings the gates to Jerusalem/heaven are stated to be made of pearls. Thus the oft quoted term "the pearly gates". What is the significance/symbolism of the gates being Pearl ...
Marshall's user avatar
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Are the worms of Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 66:24 & Mark 9:48 related?

Mark 9:47-49 (YLT): 47 And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

Is Revelation 6:9 an allusion to Leviticus 4:7?

Revelation 6:9 ESV When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. Leviticus 4:7 ESV And the priest ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
424 views

Literal or "spiritual metaphor" interpretation of "children being passed through fire"

One of the things I've been looking deeply into recently is the spiritual metaphors in the Bible. Where specific acts are associated with spiritual equivalents. Often times it's difficult to tell what ...
Marshall's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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What is the biblical significance of the "red hair" / "Scarlet thread" and the first born brother/twin?

I've been reading the stories about the births of twins in Genesis. Firstly about Isaacs sons Jakob and Esau (Gen 25) and secondly about Judahs sons Perez and Zerah (Gen 38). The stories share many ...
Marshall's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
456 views

Is there significance / connection between Esau's appearance and the prophets clothing (Garment of hair)

I'm curious if there is any significance or connection between Esau's appearance and the prophets clothing. (Garment of hair) Esau birth is described in Gen 25:25 The first to come out was red, and ...
Marshall's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

In Isaiah 54;4 can you explain in what way Israel is a "widow"?

In Isaiah 54 the prophet uses the parable/metaphor of a husband and wife to describe the relationship between God and Israel. Israel is called a "barren wife" without child (Isaiah 54:1) ...
Marshall's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
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What does it mean to "have salt amongst yourselves" Mark 9:49-50

What does it mean to have "salt among yourselves and be at peace with each other" in Mark 9:49-50 “Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can ...
Marshall's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Who are the seven women of Isaiah 4:1

I'm interested in peoples understanding and interpretation of Isaiah 4:1 In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own bread and provide our own clothes. Just let us ...
Marshall's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Meaning and Symbology of "Bronze" in scripture

In scripture different "materials" are often used in prophecy dreams and visions to convey meaning. Additionally different materials were also used for constructing different aspects of the ...
Marshall's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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John 13:7 What was Jesus referring to when he said "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

In John 13 at the last supper Jesus goes to wash his disciples feet. Initially Peter resists but Jesus insists he must carry out this action and states in 13:7 “You do not realize now what I am doing,...
Marshall's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the significance of the insertion/interleaving/interlinearing of Melchizedek's sub-narrative into the Genesis 14's historical-political story?

( Credit Related Reference: Should we read Melchizedek in Genesis 14 to be metaphorical? ) Before discussing Genesis 14, this question posting is Not about whether the Biblical character of King ...
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What does the river of the water of life signify in Revelation 22:1?

Revelation 22:1 ESV Then the angel[a] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb Seeing that this book is full of imagery and ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

What did the seven day reprieve signify in Genesis 7:4?

After having shut Noah in the ark God waits for another seven days before the flood begins,nothing significant seems to take place during those seven days. 4 For in seven days I will send rain on the ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
359 views

What do the stones represent in Isaiah 5:2?

Isaiah 5:2 ESV He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
991 views

What is the symbolism related to Lev 23:40

Feast of Tabernacles is one of God's appointed times. What is the significance of Lev 23:40, in particular the branches and leafy trees? On the first day you are to gather the fruit of majestic trees,...
0000's user avatar
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2 answers
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When is a person "born of water and the Spirit"? John 3:5

John 3:5 (ESV): 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. According to Jesus, a person must be "born of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
586 views

Psalm 37:4 & Psalm 20:4 "...grant you your heart’s desire..." and "...give you the desires of your heart..." "dual-natured layers of meaning"

Psalm 20:1-6 1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high! 2 May He send you help from the sanctuary And support you from Zion! 3 May He ...
user1338998's user avatar
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Was the prophecy of Zechariah 14: 4 already fulfilled or is it yet to come?

To help interpret this question, I have posted some of the surrounding verses to help a bit: Zechariah 14:3-9: "Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on ...
Xeno's user avatar
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Is there symbolic or interpretive significance to Pilate addressing Christ as "the Man," "Christ," and "King"?

Pilate addressed Jesus using at least the three appellations: "the Man," "Christ," and "King." Here are the relevant passages (there are others): Matthew 27:17b: “[...
Xeno's user avatar
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3 votes
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Within context of Psalm 107:18 , what does food symbolically mean?

Does Psalm 107:18 reference to food symbolically mean God, prayer and meditating on God's Word (personal devotions/quiet time in today's lingo)? If yes, why does it say it abhorred "all kinds of ...
user1338998's user avatar
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2 votes
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Does Revelation 6:9 establish the destination of the martyred souls prior to their final destination?

Revelation 6:9 NIV 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. Does this text ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
454 views

Could this be the same song in Revelation 5 and 14?

Revelation 5:8-9 NIV 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense,...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
1k views

What is the significance or symbolism of wringing off the head of a bird in Leviticus 1:14?

It is said during the offering of a burnt sacrifice of a bird the Priest shall wring off its head and burn it,then shall drain its blood,remove its feathers,divide it and then finally burn it. ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
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(1 Kings 13) Symbolism of God's command to Unnamed Prophet specifying Not to eat bread Nor drink water nor return by the way which you came?

1 Kings 13:1-8 1 Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense ... 8 But the man of God said to the king, “...
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When God created Adam and Eve and the covenant of marriage between the two, did He already have the marriage between Christ and the Church in mind? [closed]

The union between man and woman, which we currently understand as the covenant of marriage, was part of God's original plan for His creation according to Genesis 2: 20 The man gave names to all ...
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1 vote
2 answers
203 views

Does physical birth in amniotic fluid parallel the spiritual rebirth of John 3:4-5? [closed]

In John's Gospel we read: John 3:4-5: "Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?' Jesus answered, '...
Xeno's user avatar
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"... where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" - Is Jesus' description of Hell (Gehenna) literal or figurative?

Mark 9:47-49: 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not ...
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