Colors usually carry heavy symbolism and references. In both ancient and modern literature, colors always have significant meanings. One of these ancient texts includes the Bible. The Bible is filled with subtle references that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the Scripture. Knowing what these colors indicate can help up understand The Word in a much more detailed way.
In today’s world, the different colors on the spectrum have different meanings and emotions associated with them. Similarly, the various colors mentioned in the Bible represent the many facets of God’s character and his promises to us.
The Bible mentions many colors throughout, each with its own significant meaning. However, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Red signifies Red Clay and is derived from the Hebrew word Oudem. The name Adam is a significant character in the Bible, whose name is derived from Oudem. As a whole, the color red symbolizes the creation of mankind or human flesh.
Yellow, on the other hand, is associated with fire, which in turn is associated with purification. God talks about purging and trials in Peter 1:7 (The trial of faith will be more precious than Gold and be tried with fire).
The third primary color is blue. Blue symbolizes the healing power of God, the heavens, and the Word of God itself. It is associated with purity and divinity. The magnificent skies, for instance, are a symbol of the heavenly realm above us where we will unite with The Almighty once again.
Let’s take a deeper look into the various mentions of blue symbolism in the Bible and their connotations.
What is blue symbolism in the Bible?
To understand the symbolism of color in the Bible, we must briefly look at Biblical Hermeneutics. This is a Hebrew method of looking at symbolic interpretations in the Bible. Biblical Hermeneutics is part of a broader field of study which involves the interpretation of all forms of communication – verbal and non-verbal.
This approach also includes the use of something called ‘remez.’ Remez is the subtle hint that comes from looking at hidden messages and deeper interpretations. Numbers and colors are both types of remez.
A remez can be defined as a hint wherein a word, phrase or other elements in the text hints at a truth or a deep allegoric – hidden or symbolic meaning.
In chapter Exodus, Moses and his sons climb Mount Sinai along with 70 other elders from Israel to worship God. As soon as they reached, they saw God with a bright blue pavement under his feet. The Bible explains this sight as being as bright as the blue sky. The pavement was also described as being adorned with shiny blue sapphires.
“And they saw the God of Israel:
and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” – Exodus 24:10
“and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.” – Exodus 24:10
The Hebrew word for blue is ‘tekelet’, which can be translated into purple or violet. It is believed to be a reference to the animal from which the dye comes from. These dyes were expensive and rare and were associated with royalty at the time.
High priests often wore garments made of this royal purple. The hem of the garment was often blue – another blue symbol that we see in the Bible. In this case, the color blue signifies the healing grace of a Higher Power. The Bible says that a woman in need of healing touched the hem of the garment of Jesus Christ and was instantly healed (Luke 8:40-48).
Interestingly, this is seen in many ancient paintings where the color blue was used to paint the garments of Kings and Queens. In fact, the famous painting of The Virgin Mary also has her clothed in blue.
Another mention of blue in the Bible is used to describe the ‘breastplate of judgement’ worn by the High Priest (Exodus 28:18). The Bible also says that God placed this blue gem as ornamentation on those he created, including Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:13). It was also mentioned that the blue stones will be used to decorate the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:19).
As you can see, the color blue has significant Biblical meanings. It is mentioned 50 times in the Old Testament. The sapphire stone is also mentioned 9 times throughout the Scripture. Blue symbolism is crucial in understanding the deeper meanings in the Bible.
According to the ancient Liturgical Colors of Christianity, the color blue refers to the blue skies, life-giving air, and good health. Other meanings of the color blue indicate trust, loyalty, wisdom, sincerity, faith, and other such positive virtues.