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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Did David sacrifice every six steps in 2 Samuel 6:13?

2 Samuel 6:13 NIV 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. In the above text David is said to have offered a sacrifice ...
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What does “the key of David” imply in Revelation 3:7?

The Bible speaks of "the Key of David" when it says: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that ...
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In Luke 3:16, what does:“not worthy to untie the straps of his sandals” mean?

Luke 3:16 (ESV) John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the ...
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What is the significance with the skull of Golgotha?

King James Version. Matthew: And when they came to a place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull). Mark: And they brought him to the place called Gol'gotha (which means the ...
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Is the “lambkin” of Revelation 13:11 the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8?

[Rev 13:11 ESV] (11) Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. [Rev 13:11 MGNT] (11) καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς ...
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Is the 'angel of the abyss' (Rev 9:11) the self-same 'angel' — who has the 'key to the abyss' (Rev 20:1)?

Rev 9:11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of ...
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In Gen. 4, Seth is “appointed” as another seed “instead of Abel.” What is the ancient interpretation of this appointment?

In Genesis 4:25, it states: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: 'for God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him" What is the ...
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In 1 Corinthians 5:8, who is to observe what feast?

When Paul says "let us therefore celebrate the festival" does he refer to: the feast of unleavened bread? the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover? the Passover? the christian faith but with ...
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What significance does John perceive in the piercing of Christ's side and the flow of blood and water?

The piercing of Christ side and the flow of blood and water (John 19:34) are unique to John’s gospel and it’s clear from the testimony which follows it ( 19:35) the author sees in them a real ...
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What is the significance of how Jesus instructed Peter to get the money in Matthew 17:25

In Matthew 17 there is a story of Jesus telling Peter to go and get money for the temple tax. For some reason, Jesus didn't just make money appear or ask Peter to get some from Judas Iscariot (who ...
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In Acts 7:56 why does Stephen see Jesus “standing”?

and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man ~standing~ at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56 (NASB) All of the time, except for this time, Jesus sits at the right hand side ...
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How does one practically receive the “light of the knowledge” of the Glory of God in 2 Corinthians 4:6?

1) How does one practically receive the "light of the knowledge" of the Glory of God in 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to ...
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Is the water jar in John 4:28 a symbol?

At the end of Jesus' conversation with the woman by the well, John records 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all ...
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What is the meaning of “water and blood” in 1 John 5:6?

In 1 John 5:6 John uses water and blood as symbolic short hand, clearly expecting his audience to know the meaning of these two liquids. 6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. ...
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What mountains is Isaiah 52:7 referring to?

I have read through Isaiah 52:7 time and again. I don’t seem to be coming to terms with how the feet of him that brings the good news are beautiful upon the mountains. “How beautiful upon the ...
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Is the number “144,000” mentioned in Revelation 14 a literal number or a prophetic number?

Is the number "144,000" mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5 a literal number or a prophetic number representing a bigger multitude? 1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount ...
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How can a sparrow nest on the altars of God according to Psalm 84:3

The sparrow finds home a while the swallow finds a nest. Both birds find homes and nests on the LORD'S Altars (plural), not altar. Psalm:84.3 Even the sparrow has found a home, And the ...
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What does “milk and honey” refer to?

Beginning in Exodus 3:8*, the land promised to the Israelites is often described as "flowing with milk and honey": I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them ...
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In 1 Peter 5:8 is “your adversary, the devil” a reference to persecuting Jews in cahoots with Rome?

Peter speaks of a "roaring lion" on the prowl. I don't think anyone thinks that an actual lion is the problem. Nor does the Satan eat humans that I'm aware of. [1Pe 5:8-11 CSB] (8) Be sober-minded,...
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In Matthew 25:24-26 what does ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter" mean?

In Matthew 25:24-26 we have this interchange: 24 “He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering ...
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In Rev 2:28 What does it mean to be given the bright morning star?

What does it mean to receive the morning star in Rev 2:28?
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In Revelation 21:16 do the walls of the new Jerusalem rise 12,000 furlongs?

Revelation describes the height of the new Jerusalem to be equal to its base, which is 12,000 furlongs. Generally speaking one does not usually refer to the "height" of a city. I'm not sure what that ...
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In Acts 26:23 what does it mean that the Messiah will “proclaim light”?

[Act 26:23 ASV] (23) how that the Christ must suffer, and how that he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles. [Act 26:23 MGNT] (23) εἰ ...
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In Ezekiel 44:19 is the concern with not sanctifying the people or with not soiling their holy garments?

Complete Jewish Bible Ezekiel 44:19 But when they go out into the Outer Court, into the Outer Court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they minister and place them in ...
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In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-12. Verses 8-9 (ESV) read: And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered,...
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Difference between the Mark of the Beast and the Seal of the Servants?

Closely Related: - Is the Mark of the Beast Actually Voluntary? Is there a difference between the "Mark of the Beast", and the "Seal of the Servants"? If so, what is the difference - how can people ...
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In Revelation 6:6 what is meant by "Do not damage the oil and the wine”?

Revelation 6:5-6 (NASB) 5" When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand....
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In Mark 14:44 why did Judas betray Jesus with a kiss?

Why did Judas betray Jesus with a kiss? The simplest explanation is of course the one we find in Matthew and Mark. This was the prearranged sign by which Judas identified Jesus to the arresting ...
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Is John 17:22 an allusion to Genesis 2:24?

[John 17:21-23 KJV] (21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (22) And the glory ...
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Is the river of Revelation 12:15 vomit?

A river coming out of the mouth of the Satan (whom I take to be Caiaphas, the High Priest, here and throughout Revelation, or rather, a Satan-filled Caiaphas) seems inappropriately clean and too ...
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Is Luke 19:44 an allusion to Psalm 137:9?

[Luke 19:44 NLT] (44) They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation." ...
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What is the symbolic significance of performing circumcision on the “8th day”? [duplicate]

In Leviticus 12:3 what was the symbolic significance of choosing the eighth day after birth for the time of circumcision? [Lev 12:3 KJV] (3) And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall ...
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In 1 Kings 11:29-32 what happened to the 12th piece of the robe?

When Jeroboam leaves Jerusalem he met the prophet Ahijah: And at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had dressed ...
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Do the specific gifts the father gives to the prodigal son have any special significance?

What is the significance of the robe, ring & sandals in Luke 15:22? ‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on ...
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In Revelation 11:1-2 why does the angel tell John to measure the temple?

[Rev 11:1-2 NLT] (1) Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, "Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. (2) But do not measure the outer courtyard,...
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In Lamentations 2:8 what does it mean that the LORD has “stretched out a line”?

[Lam 2:8 KJV] (8) The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and ...
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What is the meaning of “excellent things” in Proverbs 22:20?

Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth... -- Proverbs 22:20 (KJV) In the KJV, the Hebrew word ...
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What does the “prodigal son’s” demand for his inheritance in advance symbolize?

“And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them.” ‭...
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What is “sackcloth” in Revelation 11:3?

In Revelation 11:3 is written: "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." (Revelation 11:3, NASB, emphasis ...
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Could Jesus actually have risen from the dead on the fourth day, instead on the third day?

I was reading Luke 24:7 just now. The verse is about an angel who tells the disciples that Jesus was going to rise the third day. I noticed that it didn’t say on the third day, or after the third day. ...
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In the story of Tamar and Judah,. Gen 38:14-16, how did a prostitute's veil differ from a common veil?

Is there a difference in historical records of a prostitute's veil and a common veil worn by women of that time? How did Judah know that Tamar was prostituting herself?
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In 2 Corinthians 10:4 what are the “weapons of our warfare” and “strongholds”?

2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds What does this verse mean? What are our weapons? How are they mighty in ...
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What is the sign of the Son of Man?

What is the sign of the Son of Man spoken of in Matthew 24:30?— At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the ...
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Who/what are the “two olive trees” and the lampstand of Zechariah 4?

Zechariah 4:11-14 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of ...
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In Amos 9:13 - What does “The Plowman will Overtake the Reapers” Mean?

1. The Text : NAS, Amos 9:13 - When the plowman will overtake [וְנִגַּ֤שׁ] the reaper ... 2. Question, A Word-Study : These are at least two very different understandings of "overtake" in this ...
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What was the lesson Elisha wanted to teach Joash using the arrows?

In 2 Kings 13:14–17 we find that Joash, the king of Israel, took a bow and some arrows as Elisha told him. And the 17th verse: Elisha said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. Elisha said, “...
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What does the “Blood” & “Sea” & the “Great Mountain” mean?

John fortold events to come (Rev. 1:1) so what does this verse mean and what do the following stand for? A The "Blood"? B The "Sea"? C The "Great Mountain Burning With Fire"? D Why a "Third"? E ...
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Matthew 7:13-14: What is the straight gate and the narrow way?

What exactly is meant by the strait gate and the narrow way in the following passage? Is it possible to establish that based on the text? Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and ...
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In John 13:26 is Judas supposed to represent Judah?

KJV John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. There seems to be a ...
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What does it mean to be “born of water”?

In John 3:5, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom one must be "born of water and the Spirit". How is this phrase understood? Is it a single construct (i.e. one birth of both water and ...