Dictionary Of Bible Symbolism
A dictionary of Bible symbolism gives interpretations of common illustrations mentioned in the Bible. There are a lot of examples and representations used in God's word so a person's understanding can be greatly enhanced by finding the meaning behind the illustrations. Understanding Bible symbolism helps a person to understand important truths. Understanding that the bread of life, light of the world, living water, and good shepherd are all talking about Jesus Christ allows the reader to grasp the many facets associated with who He is. Jesus used symbolism when He taught in parables. Parables and symbolism provide a deeper meaning to a passage of scripture as they allow the reader to get an imaginative picture of what is being taught.
Recognizing Jesus as the Lamb of God helps a person to get a picture of the sacrifice He made on the cross. The Old Testament talks about the sacrifices of animals that were made to atone for sin of the people. The book of Hebrews helps a reader to understand how Jesus put an end to animal sacrifices by offering Himself for the sins of the world. A dictionary of Bible symbolism can help to bring these illustrations to life with examples of other words that have similar meanings. The word light can stand for revelation or truth. Israel's spiritual state is referred to as an olive tree. Sackcloth and ashes refers to grieving or mourning. The Holy Spirit is representative of a dove. These are just a select few as there are many more illustrations throughout God's word.
Numbers are also used in the Bible symbolically. The number one signifies unity or the beginning. Number seven stands for spiritual perfection. Five signifies grace, favor, forgiveness, and healing. Understanding Bible symbolism when it comes to numbers helps to provide a different view of numbers. For example, the number 666 is a number of a man mentioned in the prophetic book of Revelation. This number symbolizes intense human pride. This man sees himself as God and wants to be acknowledged as such. The book of Revelation is filled with illustrations about the end time. The churches are candlesticks and stars are angels over the churches. Other examples of symbolism include the seven lamps burning, the four beasts, the golden vials, the pair of balances, and the great dragon.
During His ministry Jesus taught by sharing stories called parables. A dictionary of Bible symbolism can provide some insight into many of the parables that Jesus told. Some of the stories were about people and often they included objects and actions. One parable that is commonly known is the story about the wise and foolish virgins. Five of the virgins were foolish and five were wise. The foolish virgins represent those in the world who are not prepared to meet Jesus and the wise virgins represent those who are. The five that were wise were prepared for the bridegroom or Jesus when He returned. Someone who hears a parable may not understand it or at least not fully. This is where time and study can come into play. Some truths may not be as obvious as others. For the truths that are not a person should become determined to study and pray seeking God for the answers.
God has used dreams to bring revelation to His people. Reading the book of Daniel might provide some insight into understanding Bible symbolism when it comes to dreams. God blessed Daniel with insight to interpret dreams. He interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the coming drought and famine. God talks to people through scripture, prophets, visions, and dreams. Complex dreams need an interpretation. They often stay with a person for a long period of time and may even repeat on successive nights. God honors those who seek Him diligently like Daniel did. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).
Visions are another way that God speaks to His people. The book of Habakkuk reveals steps for uncovering the meaning of dreams and visions. Prayer is very important for receiving an interpretation. The best way to remember a vision or dream is to write it down. Faith in God is necessary because a person needs to believe that God will reveal the meaning if it is His will. Patience is important because a person may have to wait a long time before he or she will understand what God is saying. A dictionary of Bible symbolism might help to shed some light on visions and dreams. God continuously speaks to His children through His word so the most important thing is studying scripture and knowing what God is saying in His word.
Colors in God's word often symbolize things, objects, and attributes. Crimson was used to signify atonement through blood and sacrifice. Black describes sin, famine, and death. Purple is used to describe garments including the robe placed on Jesus. Red signifies blood, wine, eyes of a drunkard, and bloodshed. Robes of the righteous are white. White also represents purity, righteousness, victory, and joy. Other colors mentioned in the Bible include scarlet, silver, gold, yellow, grey, and blue. Understanding Bible symbolism in regard to colors can help to bring more meaning to a verse that contains such. God's word is full of illustrations and stories that help to bring more meaning to what is being read.