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 Main Index : Bible Dictionaries : Easton's Bible Dictionary : Search Easton's Bible Dictionary

Search Easton's Bible Dictionary


Easton's Bible Dictionary

     The following is the results of your search for COLOUR.

Colour: The subject of colours holds an important place in the Scriptures.

1. White occurs as the translation of various Hebrew words. It is applied to: a. milk (Genesis 49:12) b. manna (Exodus 16:31) c. snow (Isaiah 1:18) d. horses (Zechariah 1:8) e. raiment (Ecclesiastes 9:8) f. The hangings of the tabernacle court (Exodus 27:9; 38:9) g. the coats, mitres, bonnets, and breeches of the priests

(Exodus 39:27,28) h. the dress of the high priest on the day of Atonement

(Leviticus 16:4,32) were white. i. marble (Esther 1:6) j. and a cognate word to the lily (The Song of Solomon 2:16) k. A different term, meaning "dazzling," is applied to the countenance (The Song of Solomon 5:10) This colour was an emblem of: a. purity and innocence (Mark 16:5; John 20:12; Revelation 19:8,14) b. of joy (Ecclesiastes 9:8) and also c. of victory (Zechariah 6:3; Revelation 6:2)

2. Black, applied to: a. the hair (Leviticus 13:31; The Song of Solomon 5:11) b. the complexion (The Song of Solomon 1:5) c. to horses (Zechariah 6:2,6)

3. The word rendered "brown" in (Genesis 30:32) (R.V., "black") means properly "scorched", i.e., the colour produced by the influence of the sun's rays. "Black" in (Job 30:30) means dirty, blackened by sorrow and disease. The word is applied to: a. a mourner's robes (Jeremiah 8:21; 14:2) b. a clouded sky (1 Kings 18:45) c. to night (Micah 3:6; Jeremiah 4:28) d. to a brook rendered turbid by melted snow (Job 6:16) It is used as symbolical of evil in (Zechariah 6:2,6; Revelation 6:5) It was the emblem of mourning, affliction, calamity (Jeremiah 14:2; Lamentations 4:8; 5:10)

4. Red, applied to: a. blood (2 Kings 3:1)ff (2 Kings 22:1)ff b. a heifer (Numbers 19:2) c. pottage of lentils (Genesis 25:30) d. a horse (Zechariah 1:8) e. wine (Proverbs 23:31) f. the complexion (Genesis 25:25; The Song of Solomon 5:10) This colour is symbolical of bloodshed (Zechariah 6:2; Revelation 6:4; 12:3)

5. Purple, a colour obtained from the secretion of a species of shell-fish (the Murex trunculus) which was found in the Mediterranean, and particularly on the coasts of Phoenicia and Asia Minor. The colouring matter in each separate shell-fish amounted to only a single drop, and hence the great value of this dye. Robes of this colour were worn by: a. kings (Judges 8:26) b. high officers (Esther 8:15) c. the wealthy and luxurious (Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 27:7; Luke 16:19; Revelation 17:4) With this colour was associated the idea of royalty and majesty

(Judges 8:26; The Song of Solomon 3:10; 7:5; Daniel 5:7,16,29)

6. Blue. This colour was also procured from a species of shell-fish, the chelzon of the Hebrews, and the Helix ianthina of modern naturalists. The tint was emblematic of the sky, the deep dark hue of the Eastern sky. This colour was used in the same way as purple; a. The ribbon and fringe of the Hebrew dress colour (Numbers 15:38) b. The loops of the curtains (Exodus 26:4) c. the lace of the high priest's breastplate, d. the robe of the ephod, and f. the lace on his mitre, were blue (Exodus 28:28,31,37)

7. Scarlet, or Crimson. In (Isaiah 1:18) a Hebrew word is used which denotes the worm or grub whence this dye was procured. In

(Genesis 38:28,30) the word so rendered means "to shine," and expresses the brilliancy of the colour. 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. a. The only natural object to which this colour is applied in Scripture is the lips, which are likened to a scarlet thread (The Song of Solomon 4:3) b. Scarlet robes were worn by the rich and luxurious

(2 Samuel 1:24; Proverbs 31:21; Jeremiah 4:30; Revelation 17:4) c. It was also the hue of the warrior's dress (Nahum 2:3; Isaiah 9:5) The Phoenicians excelled in the art of dyeing this colour

(2 Chronicles 2:7) These four colours--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.

8. Vermilion, the red sulphuret of mercury, or cinnabar; a colour used for drawing the figures of idols on the walls of temples

(Ezekiel 23:14) or for decorating the walls and beams of houses

(Jeremiah 22:14)

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