colorsalso known as “colours”
spelled “colour” in the King James Bible
The subject of colors holds an important place in the Scriptures. White, purple, blue, and scarlet were used in the textures of the tabernacle curtains (Exodus 26:1, 31, 36), and also in the high priest’s ephod, girdle, and breastplate (Exodus 28:5-6, 8, 15). Scarlet thread is mentioned in connection with the rites of cleansing the leper (Leviticus 14:4, 6, 51) and of burning the red heifer (Numbers 19:6). It was a crimson thread that Rahab was to bind on her window as a sign that she was to be saved alive (Joshua 2:18; 6:25) when the city of Jericho was taken.
- blood (2 Kings 3:22)
- wine (Proverbs 23:31)
- red heifer without spot or blemish (Numbers 19:2)
- pottage of lentils (Genesis 25:30)
- red horses (• vision of “a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white” —Zechariah 1:8 NKJV • “With the first chariot were red horses…” —Zechariah 6:2 • “Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth…” —Revelation 6:4 NKJV)
- “…breastplates of fiery red…” —Revelation 9:17
- the complexion (Esau born red —Genesis 25:25 / “My beloved is dazzling and ruddy…” —Song of Songs 5:10 NASB)
- Red Sea
Scarlet or Crimson
The Phoenicians excelled in the art of crimson dyeing (2 Chronicles 2:7). The small parasitic insects from which this dye was obtained somewhat resembled the cochineal which is found in Eastern countries. It is called by naturalists Coccus ilics. The dye was procured from the female grub alone.
In Genesis 38:28-30, the word translated as “scarlet” means “to shine,” and expresses the brilliancy of the color.
a brick red; compared to scarlet, this color is slightly more orange
color source: ground cinnabar (bright red mineral consisting of mercury sulfide)
The coloring matter in each separate shell-fish amounted to only a single drop, and hence the great value of this dye.
Robes of this color were worn by kings (Judges 8:26) and high officers (Esther 8:15). They were also worn by the wealthy and luxurious (Jeremiah 10:9; Ezek. 27:7; Luke 16:19; Rev. 17:4). With this color was associated the idea of royalty and majesty (Judges 8:26; Song of Songs 3:10; 7:5; Dan. 5:7, 16, 29).
This color was emblematic of the sky, the deep dark hue of the Eastern sky. This color was used in the same way as purple.
The ribbon and fringe of the Hebrew dress were of this color (Numbers 15:38). The loops of the curtains (Exodus 26:4), the lace of the high priest’s breastplate, the robe of the ephod, and the lace on his mitre, were blue (Exodus 28:28, 31, 37).
This color was procured from a species of shellfish, the chelzon of the Hebrews, and the Helix ianthina of modern naturalists.
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“White” occurs in Scripture as the translation of various Hebrew words.
- milk (Genesis 49:12)
- manna (Exodus 16:31)
- snow (Isaiah 1:18)
- horses (Zechariah 1:8)
- garments (Eccl. 9:8)
- Another Hebrew word translated “white” is applies to marble (Esther 1:6), and a cognate word to the lily (Song of Songs 2:16).
- A different term, meaning “dazzling,” is applied to the countenance (Song of Songs 5:10).
White was an emblem of purity and innocence (Mark 16:5; John 20:12; Rev. 19:8, 14), of joy (Eccl. 9:8), and also of victory (Zechariah 6:3; Rev. 6:2). The hangings of the tabernacle court (Exodus 27:9; 38:9), the coats, mitres, bonnets, and breeches of the priests (Exodus 39:27-28), and the dress of the high priest on the day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:4, 32), were white.
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- hair (Leviticus 13:31; Song of Songs 5:11)
- complexion (Song of Songs 1:5)
- horses (Zechariah 6:2, 6)
- mourner’s robes (Jeremiah 8:21; 14:2)
- a dark clouded sky (1 Kings 18:45)
- night (Micah 3:6; Jeremiah 4:28)
- raven (Song of Solomon 5:11)
- a brook rendered turbid by melted snow (Job 6:16)
- It is used as symbolical of evil in Zechariah 6:2, 6 and Rev. 6:5.
- In Job 30:30, “black” means dirty, blackened by sorrow and disease.
The word translated “brown” in Genesis 30:32 (Revised King James Version, “black”) means properly “scorched,” i.e., the color produced by the influence of the sun’s rays.
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