Dictionary of Biblical Symbols

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Directory
of Old
Testament
References

Actions
Anointing Divine equipment from the Holy Spirit for service
Banqueting Feasting, festival time
Being awake Alertness, watchfulness
Being baptized Burial of the old life, taking on characteristics of
Bathing Cleansing, purification
Breathing Impartation of life
Circumcision Cutting away the flesh life, entering into covenant with God
Clapping Excitement, victory
Dancing Joy, exuberance
Fornicating Idolatry
Lifting hands Taking oath, praise, surrender
Marrying Union, two being made one
Running Zeal in the race of life
Sitting Finished work
Sleeping Rest, refreshment, spiritual indifference
Standing Uprightness, standing one's ground, faith
Sweating Human works and activity
Walking Progress, advance, forward movement

Animals
Animal skins Sacrificial death
Dove Clean, ritually pure; the Holy Spirit
Goat Antithesis of sheep; often demonic or Gentile leader
Goat skin or hair Prophets
Horn Power, protection, strength
Horse Strength, freedom
White horse Victory
Lion Ruler
Ox Strength
Ram Leader
Raven Representative of unclean birds (sometimes a term for demons)
Sheep God's people
Snake/serpent/dragon Satan/sin

Colors
Amber The Glory of God
Black Sin, death, and famine.
Blue The sky, Heaven, Jesus, Holy Spirit
Brown A dark, blackish color referred only to sheep
Crimson Blood atonement and sacrifice
Gray Used only to describe the hair of the elderly, wisdom
Green Growth, life
Purple Kingship and royalty.
Red Blood, life; it also suggests bloodshed in the carnage of war.
Scarlet Blood atonement and sacrifice.
White Purity, righteousness, joy, light
Yellow The greenish cast of gold

Diseases/Defects
Blemish Sin, impurity
Blemish in eye Area of sin in life, inability to see into ones own life
Blind No (spiritual) vision
Broken testicles Inability to reproduce/lead others to Christ
Crooked back Inability to comply with Godís commandments
Dwarf Spiritual baby, never maturing
Flat nose Lack of discernment
Broken foot Hurt/offense received from another
Broken hand Inability to grasp spiritual truths
Lame Fell into sin, with inability to get out on own
Pie quebrada Leprosy
Scabbed Oversensitive
Scurvy Wrong spiritual diet
Superfluous limb Lack of spiritual balance (concentrating on one area of teaching and ignoring others)

Food
Bread Body
Bread (unleavened) Man without sin
Flour/meal/bread/grain Fellowship with God or with other men
Flour (fine) Refined, unity of Christ and saints
Leaven Sin or pride (puffs up to appear more than it really is)
Manna Divine provision, divine health
Oil The Holy Spirit & His anointing
Wine (or cup) Either joy and gladness or singing, blood

Materials
Blood Life
Bronze/brass Suffering
Clay Ritually corruptible, weakened, man-made, worldís system
Gold Deity; highest quality; heavenly perfection
Iron Judgment
Onyx stone The church
Precious stones (in variety) Diversity of mankind
Rock Place of safety, military advantage
Silver Representative of blood, redemption or its price
Spices Worship
Stone Something always ritually pure
Uncut stone The way God made it, unhampered by human effort
Wood Man, corruptible flesh
Acacia wood Incorruptible man, Jesus (this wood doesnít decay)

Numbers
1 Unity; primacy; sufficiency; beginning
2 Fellowship, Union with Christ, witness
3 Trinity, Godhead, solidity; divine perfection
4 Earth (4 corners of earth), creation; material things
5 Grace; favor; healing; supernatural strengthening; forgiveness
6 Man, man's world; man's works; human weakness (short of perfection
7 Spiritual perfection; God's choice vs. man's, completeness
8 New beginning; first of a new series; superabundance; resurrection
9 End; conclusion of a matter
10 Completion, divine order, responsibility on earth
11 Human failure, addition to (subversive of and undoing) the divine order, confusion, judgment
12 Earthly government (12 tribes, 12 disciples)
13 Rebellion; apostasy; corruption; disintegration; adversaries
Multiples or combinations of these numbers can represent combinations of these different themes. For example,
5's Nearly all dimensions and articles of the tabernacle come in multiples of 5
15 (3 x 5) Acts wrought by divine grace
17 (7 + 10) Perfection of spiritual order
19 (9 + 10) Perfection of divine order re: judgment
20 (21 - 1) Expectancy; waiting for fulfillment
21 (7 x 3) Completion re: spiritual perfection
22 (11 x 2) Intensified disorganization or disintegration
24 (12 x 2) Higher or heavenly government and worship
30 (3 x 10) Perfection of divine order; the right moment
40 (5 x 8) Generation, probation; trial; discipline; or enlarged dominion, extended rule (4 x 10)
42 (6 x 7) Man's attempt at spiritual perfection
50 (5 x 10) Jubilee, perfect deliverance; (7 x 7 + 1) = continued deliverance following the perfect consummation of time
70 (7 x 10) Spiritual order carried out with spiritual power
120 (3 x 40) Divinely appointed period of probation
666 Man pretending to be God; concentrated human pride

Objects – Man Made
Altar Place of sacrifice, meeting with God, change, giving to God
Anchor Security of the believer
Apparel Man's need of covering
Ark Fullness of Godhead; salvation
Armor Divine equipment for warfare
Arrow Suffering and conviction
Axe Instrument of judgment
Balances Scarcity; man being weighed, judgement
Banner Standard lifted high, covering, worship
Barns Man's storehouse for the future
Basket Divine provision for man's need
Beam Rafter, impurity, sin
Bed Place for rest
Bell Sweet sound of the voice
Breastplate Faith and love, protection, righteousness, covering the heart
Bricks and slime Tower of Babel material, manís attempts
Chain Binding of Satan, darkness, bondage
Chair Throne or judgment
Chariots Transportation, speed, warfare
Cistern Man's hewn-out well of water, saving of provision
City Stability, permanency, security, habitation
Cloak Protection from the weather, personís authority
Closet Secret place of prayer
Cord, Scarlet Thread of atonement
Cup Fullness of joy, judgment, work
Cymbal Instrument of joy
Door Authority, entrance into something, Jesus is our door into life
Eye Salve Anointing of the Holy Spirit, healing for eyes
Fortress/Tower Protection, safety
Furnace Trial, affliction, pressure, burning away of bondage
Garment Covering
Gates The seat of judgment and decision-making in a city, authority
Hammer Word of God
Harps Prophetic spirit; instrument of praise, worship
Helmet Protection for the mind or thoughts
House The church
Incense Acceptable prayer
Lamp Word of God, Spirit of God, Spirit of man, goodness of God shown to the world
Line Measurement, boundary mark
Linen (fine) Righteousness that the saints receive from Jesus, Jesus' holiness, righteousness, and sinless humanity
Loaves (3) Fullness of Godhead as bread
Nail Christ or antichrist, payment
Net Gospel power to catch men
Ointment Anointing, charisma of the Holy Spirit
Pillar Stability, security, support
Plumbline Divine standard
Rod or scepter Ruler, protection, judgement, authority
Sackcloth (burlap) and ashes Deep mourning
Sieve Divine sifting
Sickle (sharp Reaping instrument - Word of God
Soap Cleaning for sin
Staff Shepherd's protection and guidance
Stone, head, corner Building aligned from and crowned by Christ
Sword War or judicial authority
Sword (2 edged) Word of God by the Spirit
Table Feasting
Tent Transitory nature of life; sojourning; a mobile place of worship
Throne Sovereignty of God
Tower Place of security; watchfulness
Trumpet Voice of prophetic utterance, awakening, signal of Godís movement
Well Eternal life, salvation
Wheel Speedy, divine transportation
Window Illumination

Objets–Natural
Almond tree New year
Clouds God's presence; mystery; multitudes of saints
Fig tree Israel's religious life
Fire Judgment, God's presence (especially in a torch), cleansing and purification
Light Revelation, truth
Living Water Running water; ritual purification, Holy Spirit
Mountains Government
Olive tree Israel's spiritual life, anointing
Sea Gentile nations; the restlessness of human efforts; prison of some demons
Vine Israel's national life
Water Word of God
Wind Spirit, breath

People/Positions
Cherubim Angelic "guardians" of God's throne or position
(At one's) Right hand Position of highest privilege
Shepherd Leader, protector

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