Color Symbolism and Color Meaning in The Bible

Bible Colors - Symbolism in Scripture, Symbolic Color Use and Occurrence in the Christian Bible, Hebrew Greek

The colors are arranged alphabetically and each color is seperated into 1-4 categories:

Direct Meaning
demonstrates the plain use of the color in a passage.
Opposite Meaning
describes the color use when it contradicts the Direct Meaning.
Color Symbolism
derives a symbolic meaning from the color's use throughout Scripture.
Associated Symbols
define symbolic meanings of objects in the same verse as the color.

This study only references verses in which the color is used consistently amongst Bible translations, therefore the references are not exhaustive. If a verse is ambiguous in its color symbolism, or the color is used in the exact same way in another passage, then that verse may be left out.

In the left column under are the Hebrew and Greek words for each color which are linked to their Strong's definition, courtesy of StudyLight.org.

The verses are too numerous to include the full text for each. To read passages in a wide selection of translations you can copy references in any single bulleted entry and paste them into the "Passage Lookup" field at Bible Gateway.

Amber

Chashmal
(khash-mal')

The color amber is only found in the KJV book of Ezekiel. Its use demonstrates God's overbearingly bright and immediate presence.

Direct Meaning:

  • God's glory and the brightness of His presence. - Ezekiel 1:4; 1:27-28; 8:2 (KJV)
Color Symbolism:
  • Christ as the glory of God - Ezekiel 1:28, II Corinthians 4:6, Revelation 21:23
Associated Symbols:
  • fire - God's presence (Hebrews 12:29, Exodus 3:2), God's judgment (Genesis 19:24, II Kings 1:10-14, Isaiah 66:15, II Thessalonians 1:7-8)

Black

Chashak
(shaw-khar')
Kamar
(kaw-mar')
Kimriyr
(kim-reer')
Qadar
(kaw-dar')
Shachar
(shaw-khar')
Shachor
(shaw-khore')

Melas

(mel'-as)

Black is primarily associated with the negative aspects of human experience - including death, disease, famine, and sorrow - all of which are the results of sin. The exception is the implication of health when describing hair.

Direct Meaning:

  • sin - Job 6:15-16
  • disease - Job 30:30
  • famine - Lamentations 4:8; 5:10, Revelation 6:5-6
  • death - Jude 1:12-13
  • sorrow - Jeremiah 8:21 (KJV)
Opposite Meaning:
  • health - Leviticus 13:37, Song of Solomon 1:5-6; 5:11
Color Symbolism:
  • judgment - Jeremiah 14:2, Leviticus 13:37, Job 3:5
Associated Symbols:
  • sackcloth - mourning (Genesis 37:34, Isaiah 50:3, Revelation 6:12)

Blue

T@keleth
(tek-ay'-leth)

The color blue is used quite extensively in the Old Testament to describe the various hangings in the holy places. It is also used as a symbol of wealth and the corruptions thereof, but it should be noted that purple is used far more frequently for such distinctions. In general blue should be viewed as a heavenly color. Below is only a representation of the color's use in scripture, it occurs far more frequently than demonstrated here.

Direct Meaning:

  • describing hangings, curtains, coverings (along with purple and scarlet / crimson) - Exodus 26:1;36; 27:16; 28:8, II Chronicles 3:14; etc.
  • holy covering - Exodus 28:31, Numbers 4:5-7;11-12, Esther 8:15
  • the Lord's commandments - Numbers 15:38-40
Opposite Meaning:
  • corruption through vanity, whoredoms and idolotry - Jeremiah 10:8-9, Ezekiel 23:3-8
Color Symbolism:
  • heavenly - Exodus 24:10, Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1 (sapphire)
  • holy service - Exodus 28:31, Esther 8:15
  • chastening - Proverbs 20:30 (KJV)
Associated Symbols:
  • water(s) - spirit (John 4:13-14; 7:37-39, Revelation 21:6; 22:17, Matthew 3:11-16), people / multitudes (Revelation 17:15, Jeremiah 46:7-8; 47:1-3, Isaiah 8:7; 17:13)

Crimson

Karmiyl
(kar-mele')
Shaniy
(shaw-nee')
Towla'
(to-law')

Crimson is used to describe fine materials and sin. The dye was extracted from the dried body of of the insect coccus ilicis; qirmiz (or kermes) as transliterated in Arabic. (Also see scarlet)

Direct Meaning:

  • fine materials (along with purple and blue) - 2 Chronicles 2:7;14; 3:14, Jeremiah 4:30
  • sin - Isaiah 1:18
Associated Symbols:
  • blood - life (Genesis 9:4-5, Deuteronomy 12:23), sacrifice (Exodus12:13; 23:18)
    , remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22, I John 1:7, Revelation 1:5), covenant (Exodus 24:8, Matthew 26:28, Romans 5:9, Hebrews 9:12; 13:12), war (I Kings 2:5, I Chronicles 22:8)

Gray

Seybah
(say-baw')
Siyb
(seeb)

Grey is used to denote old age (for obvious reasons). We can try to gain a bit more meaning by looking at the symbolism of ash even though the two are never directly associated in Scripture.

Direct Meaning:

  • old age - Genesis 42:38, Deuteronomy 32:25, I Samuel 12:2, Job 15:10, Psalm 71:18
  • beauty of old age - Proverbs 20:29
  • weakness - Hosea 7:9
Associated Symbols:
  • ash - of little worth (Genesis 18:27, Job 30:19), destruction (Exodus 9:10, Ezekiel 28:18, Malachi 4:3, II Peter 2:6)
    , purification (Numbers 19:17), sorrow (II Samuel 13:19)
    , mourning (Esther 4:3, Jeremiah 6:26)
    , repentance (Job 42:6, Matthew 11:21), scattered (Psalm 147:16)

Green

'abiyb
(aw-beeb')
Ra'anan
(rah-an-awn')
Y@raqraq
(yer-ak-rak')
Yaraq
(yaw-rawk')
Yarowq
(yaw-rawk')
Yereq
(yeh'-rek)

Green is primarily associated with plant life. As a result we can view it as a symbol of natural growth and life. The exception is its use in Leviticus to denote disease.

Direct Meaning:

  • describing a meat offering - Leviticus 2:14
  • describing edible plants - Genesis 1:30; 9:3, II Kings 19:26, Job 39:8, Psalm 37:2
  • trees - Exodus 10:15, Deuteronomy 12:2, I Kings 14:23, 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10, II Chronicles 28:4, Psalm 37:35; 52:8, Isaiah 37:27, Jeremiah 2:20
Opposite Meaning:
  • disease - Leviticus 13:49; 14:37
Color Symbolism:
  • rest - Psalm 23:2
  • life - Isaiah 15:6, Psalm 23:2, Ezekiel 17:24, Luke 23:31
  • growth - Ezekiel 17:24
  • fruitful - Jeremiah 11:16; 17:8, Hosea 14:8, Luke 23:31
  • fresh / undefiled - Song of Solomon 1:16, Luke 23:31
  • maturity - Job 15:31-32
  • frailty - Psalm 37:2
Associated Symbols:
  • grass - man / flesh (Psalm 37:1-2; 92:7; Revelation 8:7, I Peter 1:24, Isaiah 40:6-8; 51:12), weakness (Psalm 102:4; 102:11, Revelation 8:7), growth (Psalm 72:16; 92:7, Job 5:25)
  • trees - coverage (Psalm 37:35), trust (Psalm 52:8), man (Matthew 3:10; 7:15-18, Mark 8:24), The Cross (Acts 5:30, I Peter 2:24)

Ivory

Shen
(shane)
Shenhabbiym
(shen-hab-beem')

Elephantinos

(el-ef-an'-tee-nos)

Ivory is never mentioned by describing the color of something but always as the material itself. Its use denotes costly ornamentation and fine craftsmanship. It symbolizes beauty when describing the body.

Direct Meaning:

  • a throne - I Kings 10:18, II Chronicles 9:17
  • cargo / merchandise - I Kings 10:22, II Chronicles 9:21, Ezekiel 27:15, Revelation 18:12
  • houses - I Kings 22:39, Amos 3:15
  • beds - Amos 6:4
  • body parts - Song of Solomon 5:14; 7:4
  • inlays - Ezekiel 27:6
Color Symbolism:
  • beauty - see "body parts" above
Associated Symbols:
  • throne - power (I Kings 1:37, II Kings 25:28), kingship (Genesis 41:40, Deuteronomy 17:18, II Samuel 7:16)
    , glory (I Samuel 2:8, II Chronicles 18:18, Psalm 103:19, Jeremiah 14:21, Matthew 19:28; 25:31), judgment (Psalm 9:4;7; 122:5, Proverbs 20:8, Matthew 19:28), holiness (Psalm 47:8), grace (Hebrews 4:16)
  • neck - posession (Genesis 27:40; 41:42; 49:8, Deuteronomy 28:48, II Samuel 22:41, Nehemiah 3:5, Psalm 18:40, Proverbs 3:3, Isaiah 10:27, Jeremiah 27:12; 30:8, Acts 15:10), embrace (Genesis 33:4; 45:14; 46:29, Luke 15:20, Acts 20:37), strength (Song of Solomon 4:4; 7:4), beauty (Isaiah 3:16, Song of Solomon 1:10), stubbornness / rebellion (when hardened or stiff) (Deuteronomy 10:16; 31:27, II Kings 17:14, II Chronicles 36:13, Nehemiah 9:16-17, Isaiah 48:4, Jeremiah 7:26; 17:23, Acts 7:51)
  • belly - emotions / desires (Job 15:35; 20:20, Psalm 31:9, Proverbs 13:25; 20:27, Romans 16:18, Revelation 10:9)
  • beds - fornication (I Chronicles 5:1, Ezekiel 23:17, Revelation 2:22 [spiritual as well])

Purple

'argaman
(ar-gaw-mawn')

Porphura

(por-foo'-rah)
Porphuropolis
(por-foo-rop'-o-lis)
Porphurous
(por-foo-rooce')

Along with blue, scarlet, and crimson, purple is used to describe hangings and fine materials. The dye was extracted from a particularly scarce family of shellfish which made it quite valuable. Purple became a symbol of royalty and riches due to the scarcity of its dye.

Direct Meaning:

  • describing hangings, curtains, coverings (along with blue and scarlet / crimson) - Exodus 26:1;36; 27:16; 28:8, II Chronicles 3:14; etc.
  • fine materials - Numbers 4:13, Judges 8:26, Proverbs 31:22, Luke 16:19, Revelation 17:4
  • describing the dying trade - II Chronicles 2:7, Ezekiel 27:16, Acts 16:14, Revelation 18:12
Opposite Meaning:
  • royalty, but in mockery - Mark 15:17;20, John 19:2;5
Color Symbolism:
  • royalty - Judges 8:26
  • riches - Revelation 18:16, Luke 16:19
  • corruption of riches - Revelation 17:4
Associated Symbols:
  • robes - righteousness / righteous judgment (Job 29:14, Isaiah 61:10, Luke 15:22, Revelation 6:11; 7:9;14), kingship (I Kings 22:10; 30-33, I Chronicles 15:27, Isaiah 22:21, Jonah 3:6), outward show (Luke 20:46), virginity (II Samuel 13:18-19)
  • curtains - seperation / hidden (II Samuel 7:2, I Chronicles 17:1), the heavens (Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:60), habitations (Isaiah 54:2, Jeremiah 4:20; 10:20, Habakkuk 3:7)

The Hebrew equivalent is 'argaman; Greek porphura. The latter word refers to the source of the dye, namely, a shell-fish found on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Red

'adam
(aw-dam')
'adamdam
(ad-am-dawm')
'admoniy
(ad-mo-nee')
'adom
(aw-dome')

Purrhazo

(poor-hrad'-zo)
Purrhos
(poor-hros')

There is a diverse use of the color red throughout the Scriptures. Its primary associations are blood and war. Note that references to the Red Sea have been omitted.

Direct Meaning:

  • skin color - Genesis 25:25
  • stew - Genesis 25:30
  • wine - Proverbs 23:31
  • sores or plague - Leviticus 13:19;49 etc. (numerous references in Leviticus)
  • bloodied water - II Kings 3:22
  • clothing - Isaiah 63:2
  • shields of mighty men - Nahum 2:3
  • horses - Zechariah 1:8; 6:2
  • the sky - Matthew 16:2-3
  • the great dragon (Satan) - Revelation 12:3
Color Symbolism:
  • war - II Kings 3:22; Nahum 2:3
  • vengeance - Isaiah 63:2 (read whole chapter)
  • temptation of sin - Genesis 25:30, Proverbs 23:31
Associated Symbols:
  • wine - teachings, both true and false (fermented), shame (Genesis 9:21-25; 19:31-36)
  • winepress - God's judgment of the wicked (Revelation 14:19-20)
  • blood - see crimson

Scarlet

Shaniy
(shaw-nee')
Tala'
(taw-law')
Towla'
(to-law')

Kokkinos

(kok'-kee-nos)

Scarlet is used to describe fine materials and thread. It was also used in Mosaic purification rituals. Scarlet, like crimson, is used to describe sin. Scarlet can generally be used to symbolize a marker. (Also see crimson)

Direct Meaning:

  • a thread - Genesis 38:27-29, Joshua 2:18, Song of Solomon 4:3 (lips are like)
  • fine materials (along with purple and blue) - Exodus 25:4; 28:15; 36:37; etc. (many times over), Numbers 4:8, II Samuel 1:24, Proverbs 31:21
  • cleansing/purification - Leviticus 14:4;52, Numbers 19:6, Hebrews 9:19
  • sin - Isaiah 1:18
  • clothing of a valient man - Nahum 2:3
  • riches - Revelation 18:12;16
Opposite Meaning:
  • mocking royalty - Matthew 27:28
  • the beast being ridden by the harlot Babylon - Revelation 17:3
  • corruption of riches - Revelation 17:4
Color Symbolism:
  • a marker - Joshua 2:18;21, Genesis 38:28 (passover)
Associated Symbols:
  • virtuous woman - Proverbs 31:21
  • beasts - successive worldly kingdoms (Daniel 7:17;23 [Read whole chapter]), ignorant / lacking understanding (Psalm 49:20; 73:22), devouring destruction (Isaiah 56:9, Jeremiah 15:3, Daniel 7:5), brute fleshly nature (II Peter 2:12, Titus 1:11-13)

Vermilion

Shashar
(shaw-shar')

Vermilion is used only to describe paint, both on a house and in a portrait. Its contextual use suggests lust and unrighteousness. The color was most likely derived from iron oxide (rust) which would support the suggested meaning.

Direct Meaning:

  • paint - Jeremiah 22:14 (a house), Ezekiel 23:14 (portraits)
Color Symbolism: Associated Symbols:
  • paint - a false covering (Matthew 23:27, Acts 23:3)
  • rust - corruption (Matthew 6:19, James 5:3 [KJV])

White

Buwts
(boots)
Choriy
(kho-ree')
Chuwr
(khoor)
Laban *
(law-bawn')
Tsachach
(tsaw-khakh')
Tsachor
(tsaw-khore')

Lampros

(lam-pros')
Leukaino
(lyoo-kah'-ee-no)
Leukos
(lyoo-kos')
Koniao
(kon-ee-ah'-o)

White is a color of purity and righteousness. It is also used to describe things in nature. Sometimes it is used when describing the body, primarily when healthy and beautiful but also when sick.

Direct Meaning:

  • animals - Genesis 30:35, Judges 5:10, Zechariah 1:8; 6:3;6, Revelation 6:2; 19:11;14
  • plant flesh - Genesis 30:37, Joel 1:7
  • baskets - Genesis 40:16
  • teeth - Genesis 49:12
  • Manna - Exodus 16:31
  • leprosy / plague - Leviticus 13:4;10;19;42, etc., Numbers 12:10, II Kings 5:27
  • linen - II Chronicles 5:12, Revelation 15:6; 19:8;14
  • garments / raiment - Esther 8:15, Ecclesiastes 9:8, Daniel 7:9, Matthew 17:2; 28:3, Mark 9:3; 16:5, Luke 9:29, John 20:12, Acts 1:10, Revelation 3:4-5;18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9;13-14; 19:14
  • compared as snow - Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18, Daniel 7:9, Mark 9:3
  • compared as milk - Lamentations 4:7
  • hair - Matthew 5:36, Revelation 1:14
  • painted - Matthew 23:27, Acts 23:3
  • fields - John 4:35
  • a stone - Revelation 2:17
  • a cloud - Revelation 14:14
  • a throne - Revelation 20:11
Color Symbolism:
  • purity / refinement / unblemished / righteousness / heavenly - Psalm 51:7, Ecclesiastes 9:8, Daniel 7:9; 11:35; 12:10, Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:3, Luke 9:29, John 20:12, Acts 1:10, Revelation 3:4-5;18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9;13-14
  • victory - Revelation 6:2; 19:11;14
  • false righteousness (when only outward) - Matthew 23:27, Acts 23:3
Associated Symbols:
  • baskets - food (Genesis 40:17, Exodus 29:23, Leviticus 8:26, Numbers 6:15, Jeremiah 24:2, Amos 8:1, Matthew 14:20, Mark 8:8), escape (Exodus 2:3, Acts 9:25, II Corinthians 11:33)
    , days (Genesis 40:18)
  • teeth - devouring destruction (Deuteronomy 32:24, Psalm 124:6, Proverbs 30:14, Isaiah 41:15, Daniel 7:7;19), terror (Job 41:14, Daniel 7:7;19)
  • milk - first teachings (Isaiah 28:9, I Corinthians 3:1-2, Hebrews 5:12-14, I Peter 2:2)
  • throne - (see ivory)

Yellow

Tsahob
(tsaw-obe')

Yellow is used to describe a leperous hair in Leviticus and in some translations the color of gold in Psalm 68. Its occurence in Scripture is too low to derive a symbolic meaning.

Direct Meaning:

  • leperous hair - Leviticus 13:30;32;36
  • describing the color of gold - Psalm 68:13 (KJV/ASV, green in RSV)

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19 of 2149 Comments for Color Symbolism in The Bible and Color Meanings

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Dream about my son

by Cat - 8/31/14 7:11 AM
My son was standing in a reception type line. I went to him and tried to give him a hug. He looked angry and unloveable. Didn't hug me back. I noticed he was wearing his wrinkled suit. He was clean shaven. And he handed me this white gift bag that barely had any... more...

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Preacher in red robe

by Renee - 10/28/12 4:20 PM
I am thinking of joining this church and I had a dream of the pastor preaching and his robe was red. It was a very nice robe with golden designs but the color red stood out. Anyone have any idea what it might mean?

Latest of 6 Replies: Post a Reply

RE:Preacher in red robe

by Anonymous - 8/17/14 2:54 PM
Going to the bathroom is something personal. Perhaps this dream is showing you that the pastor is going to be uncovered in a shameful way. And you may or may not have the ability to cover him (love covers a multitude of sins). Definitely seek the Lord and ask for... more...

RE: Preacher in red robe

by Anonymous - 8/18/14 1:36 PM
It means this preacher likes the color red...

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a gift

by luvmesomejesus - 8/08/14 6:02 AM
I was walking up a street in board daylight when a man appeared and gave me a small brand new television. I was so happy and when I turned around to take it home immediately in my spirit I knew that God wanted me to give it away. I simply said yes Lord. So I walked... more...

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RE: a gift

by Anonymous - 8/17/14 3:02 PM
A television represents being able to view something, someone, or a situation as a third party. Perhaps the television that was given to you in broad daylight represents that you have been given the gift of a seer. Perhaps you have the ability to see into other... more...

Given a new pair of brown shoes and a pink colour earrings in a dream

by janie - 8/10/14 12:32 AM
i dreamt that i was given a brand new set of pink earrings with so much excitement, the same person gave me a new pair of brown shoes exactly my size. I m curious about the meaning please

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RE: Given a new pair of brown shoes and a pink colour earrings in a dream

by Anonymous - 8/16/14 11:05 AM
Like the other dream about pink, it represents purity through the blood of Christ. You have heard the message which has resonated with you (the pink earrings) but have yet to walk in it (the brown shoes).

Pink gown

by daughteroftheking - 8/12/14 7:08 PM
I dream last night that i was attending a wedding and i was one of the bride's maid. I saw myself wearing a white gown though. But i protested and asked why it was white in color when it was supposed to be not. Then, they let me wear the pink gown same with the... more...

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RE: Pink gown

by Anonymous - 8/16/14 11:01 AM
The white represents purity, as in garments washed white as snow. But you recognize that you cannot be pure on your own and can only be made white through the blood of Christ (the white and red together become pink). But nevertheless, the underlying message, like... more...

Please help interpret the dream.

by Strange Dreams - 8/12/14 4:02 AM
Breast feeding a White dog in a dream.

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RE: The gold door in the sky 8-8-2014

by Mary Ottarski - 8/09/14 5:15 PM
I was a passenger in my friends car on this date 8-8 -2014 was looking at the window and I looked up into the sky. I saw a big gold door can some one give me more mean understanding about the gold door in the sky biblically and insight on it . Thank you and God... more...

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Brown shoes part 1

by IluvmesomeJesus - 7/09/14 6:22 AM
This dream happened a few months ago. I was in a building but the building had a lot of green leaves or plants, an entire bed if them. I was trying to get to the other side but I had to run through them to get to the door. So I ran through them really fast and... more...

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RE: Brown shoes part 1

by Anonymous - 8/08/14 6:04 AM
Thank you so much. Everything you said made perfect sense. You were right on point.

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Ephesians Chapter 5

by Simba - 1/05/14 1:32 PM
When I decided to serve GOD (never did before), I chose the Spiritual Way of worship over being a Muslim; which were my only two alternatives. No other denomination appealed to me. However, my mother and siblings strongly and aggressively disagreed with my choice.... more...

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RE:Ephesians Chapter 5

by Anonymous - 7/07/14 12:58 PM
P.S. - Also be sure to read the whole Bible. There may be passages God wants you to soak in for a time but the entire Bible is His word and He wants you to know all of it. I think perhaps He wants to make sure you are reading a whole book so you don't take things... more...

RE:Ephesians Chapter 5

by Anonymous - 7/31/14 11:55 AM
You said that you chose the spiritual way of worship over being a muslim. You asked God to show you which way to go. Ephesians five talks about Living in the Light. Living by the Spirits power. and even Spirit Guided Relationships as well as the importance of... more...

Read 3 more replies

Brown shoes

by luvmesomeJesus - 7/07/14 9:51 PM
I dreamed that I was walking in a shoe store looking for shoes I looked to my left and saw a brown pair then I looked straight and saw another brown pair I started searching for my size and I couldn't find my size so when I looked to my left again for the first... more...

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RE:Brown shoes

by A Voice Crying Loud in the Wilderness - 7/31/14 11:17 AM
Shoes represent protection as they cover your feet from things. Could it be that you are seeking a relationship of sorts that represents protection, yet it is a relationship that the Lord will not allow you to enter into? Also seeing that two pairs of shoes were... more...

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