light in the Bible
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…” (Genesis 1:3-4).
“All the more joyous emotions of the mind, all the pleasing sensations of the frame, all the happy hours of domestic intercourse were habitually described among the Hebrews under imagery derived from light” (see: 1 Kings 11:36; Isaiah 58:8; Esther 8:16; Psalm 97:11).
Light came naturally to typify true belief in God and the intense happiness it imparts.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” —Psalm 119:105 NKJV
“…If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” —Isaiah 8:20 NKJV
“The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a Light dawned.” —Matthew 4:16 NASB
In its highest sense, it is applied to Christ as the “Sun of righteousness.”
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” —Malachi 4:2 NASB
“He [John the baptist] came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” —John 1:7-9 NASB
“A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel…” —Luke 2:32 NASB
It is used of…
the dwelling place of God
He dwells in light inaccessible and unapproachable by man—total holiness, glory and unlimited power (omnipotence).
“…He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. …” —1 Timothy 6:15-16 NASB
See: “The Man Who Wanted to See God”
a visible and symbolic effect of God’s nature—His glory, power, holiness, truth and wisdom—“Father of lights” (James 1:17), “He that made great lights,” “He who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,” “He who has eyes like a flame of fire” (Rev. 1:14-15; 2:18)
Jesus Christ—“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). / Light of the Gentiles (Luke 2:32) / Light from Light
names of God, including “Light of the Nations” (‘Or Goyim) (Isaiah 42:6), “Light of Israel” (Isaiah 10:17; Psalm 27:1)
angels—Daniel saw an angel with a face like lightning (Daniel 10:5-6). The angel that rolled back the stone from Christ's tomb was radiating dazzling light (Matthew 28:3; Luke 24:4).
the glorious inheritance of the redeemed (Col. 1:12; Rev. 21:23-25)
all true disciples of God, who are styled “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) / “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
- Word of God—“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
wise, truthful instruction (John 5:35; Matthew 5:16)
John the Baptist, who was a “burning and a shining light” (John 5:35)
Satan, the Great Deceiver—an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Article Version: May 22, 2019