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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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) ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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,...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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: “[...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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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. ...
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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............................................. ...
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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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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, '...
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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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Understanding the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30)

Matthew 13:24-30 (ESV): 24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy ...
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What is meant by "these are a shadow of the things to come" in Colossians 2:16-17?

Colossians 2:16-17 (ESV): 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to ...
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Are there other O.T. commandments that experienced a similar "spiritual reinterpretation" as circumcision in the N.T.? [closed]

Circumcision in the O.T. was a commandment that was carried out in a physical fashion. Males had to undergo a literal, physical circumcision of their foreskin. However, in the New Testament the ...
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What does "enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus" mean in Hebrews 10:19?

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NASB): 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the ...
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Could the six jars of wine at the Wedding at Cana symbolize the six followers of Jesus at the wedding?

John 1 describes in some detail Jesus calling his first five disciples - Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael and presumably John. John 2 1-2 says that Jesus' mother was at the wedding and Jesus was there ...
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In Ezekiel 23 what acts of prostitution did Israel commit while she was a youth in Egypt?

According to the narrative in Ezekiel 23 it is said Israel began her prostitution in Egypt whilst still a youth,she is symbolized as two sisters Oholah and Oholibah which seems to refer to Jerusalem ...
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In Daniel 12,6-7, is there some significance to the man being "above the waters"?

[Dan 12:6-7 NASB] (6) And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long [will it be] until the end of [these] wonders?" (7) I heard the man dressed ...
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What is the imagery in Psalm 19:5?

Psalm 19:5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. What does this signify? Is it romantic/sexual?
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How does the symbol of dust modify the poor in 2 Samuel 2:8?

In 1 Samuel 2:8, the scripture says: He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth ...
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How does Isaiah's Idiom "Like-a Drop From-a Bucket" (כְּמַ֣ר מִדְּלִ֔י) symbolize Nations (גּוֹיִם֙)?

We read a poetic simile from the prophet Yeshayahu "Ke-Mar Mi-Deliy" in Isaiah 40:15 [MT] : "Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket" (הֵ֚ן גּוֹיִם֙ כְּמַ֣ר מִדְּלִ֔י). How does ...
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Seeking to understand the use of the number 7 in the book of Daniel

I realize that the number 7 is used symbolically throughout the bible, prophets and writings. I noticed that the use of sevens seems to occur frequently in the book of Daniel. A few examples number ...
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Did the men of Solomon's time preferred lighter skin women?

Song of Solomon 1:5 I am dark, yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not stare because I am dark, for the sun has gazed upon me. My mother’s ...
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Who is the root and the tree in Romans 11?

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the ...
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What's the significance between, "Let the WATERS bring...the moving creature" (Gn 1:20) and "Let the EARTH bring...the living creature" (Gn 1:24)?

הַמַּ֔יִם שֶׁ֖רֶץ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה (Gen 1:20) תֹּוצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ נֶ֤פֶשׁ חַיָּה֙ (Gen 1:24) I understand that fowls and fish come from the waters and that land animals come from the earth. It seems ...
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What is the significance of using water in Jesus's first miracle?

Jesus's first miracle John 2 When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine”...Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with ...
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