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

[email protected]
(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')
[email protected]
(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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20 of 2422 Comments for Color Symbolism in The Bible and Color Meanings

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Wedding Dream

by Annonymous - 5/02/16 10:36 AM
I had a dream that it was my wedding day. we had some sort of play as part as my wedding. I was wearing a red dress and I had to go change and I was changing into my white wedding dress. I was even going to wear a white veil. It was beautiful. I started crying and... more...

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Dog bite

by Lady neox - 9/27/12 1:23 AM
I had a dream that some one had a dog near me and the dog bite me without me noticing. My hand became swollen and someone told me to rush to the Hospial because I could become blind. I became scared and my blaster and two ladies decided to take me to the hospital.... more...

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RE:Dog bite

by atet saluib mangila - 4/14/16 1:29 AM
I dream about head of a black dog attack my left rest...and i was so scared....all i can do in my dream is to shout IN JESUS NAME AMEN..AND I WOKE up!i heared my voice shouting Jesus name...what is it mean???

RE:Dog bite

by Michelle Bernabe - 4/14/16 2:04 AM
I dreamt of being bitten by a dog. I was passing a narrow street with houses on both sides. There was a young girl riding a bike that passed that dog and the dog ignored her. When it was me who is about pass (I was with a friend) the dog barked and bite me on my... more...

RE:Dog bite

by Andrea Vargas - 4/19/16 4:28 AM
I had a dream with 2 pitbulls and another person. I was in the middle and this otherperaon was laying on the floor and I was the owner of one Pitbull but the other one came out of the blue and bit the other person onthe upper right arm and my leg was in the middle... more...

RE:Dog bite

by benard joy - 5/02/16 2:26 AM
i dreamt that i was bitten by a dog till death. please what does it mean. thanks very urgent.

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The color Orange

by Barbara Singleton - 4/01/16 7:29 PM
I have a lot of Orange in my life What dose it mean

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RE: The color Orange

by Anonymous - 4/30/16 4:37 PM
what does the color orange symbolize

red dress/ black ink or mud on it all over me...

by melissa - 4/27/16 3:05 PM
I had a dream I went to my hair dresser and I had dark ink or mud all over me...she wouldn't help me clean it.

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RE: red dress/ black ink or mud on it all over me...

by Anonymous - 4/27/16 3:29 PM
This means that your outward appearance (hair) is unable to cover sin (dark ink/mud), only the blood of Jesus can do that (red dress). See 1 Peter 3.

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Red hair on a woman

by Anonymous - 4/23/16 9:33 AM
Red hair on a woman that had a demon

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baby dreams

by Trudy - 4/19/16 7:50 AM
I dream two night straight that I have a baby. The first one I dreamt where some was saying its time people know you were pregnant and the second one I was breastfeeding and trying to protect the baby from this man trying to hurt her. What does tilt means?

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breast feeding a baby

by Anonymous - 6/03/11 12:47 AM
I dremt I was holding a baby and breast feeding.The baby was sucking my breast wanting more.I did not mind feeding the baby more .In real life I don't have a child. In the dream I was saying to my self " I don't remember having a baby? how come I have a baby? but I... more...

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RE:breast feeding a baby

by Anonymous - 4/05/16 9:43 PM
I dreamt I was breastfeeding a baby he was dressed in white,but when I was breastfeeding the baby he was hurting my nipple and I had to stop breastfeeding.I have no kids.please someone tell me the meaning of this dream!

RE:breast feeding a baby

by Anonymous - 4/09/16 5:36 AM
Last night, I dreamed of nursing a baby on my right breast. Currently,my church is under spiritual attack, and key leaders, at least 3, have left the ministry. I have had thoughts of leaving as well, but I have not. It feels sometimes like we are being... more...

RE:breast feeding a baby

by Thando - 4/12/16 11:31 PM
Hi I had a dream last night breast feeding a baby. While so I recall that no I dnt have a baby in real life and I pulled him out of my breast and gave him to the nurse mom. Next to me was my aunt who was breast feeding a child too. I asked her why are u breast... more...

RE:breast feeding a baby

by shakela - 4/18/16 6:13 AM
Hi good morning I had a dream last night that I was breast feeding a baby boy at some point in the dream he was fed by battle also after taken the bottle he didn't want to suck my breast anymore in the dream my mom an sister really love the baby i hardly get a... more...

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Dream

by Bismarck - 4/12/16 4:17 AM
What's brown color in a dream

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Yellow acarf

by Anonymous - 4/11/16 11:57 AM
I was placing scarf on a couple before taking their photo

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dream interpretation

by Anonymous - 3/28/16 7:07 PM
A friend said that they dream seeing me at church, in a red pumps, black dress with a red scarf around my neck. And i leaning on the grill, facial expression unable to read. What does the dream mean?

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