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)

Share Information
Further Information:

E-mail this article to a friend Comment on this article View printable version E-mail this article to a friend Comments View printable version
Back To Top
Help Spread the Word!

22 of 2472 Comments for Color Symbolism in The Bible and Color Meanings

Read all 2472 comments »

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...

Latest of 154 Replies: Post a Reply

RE:breast feeding a baby

by Nancy reyes - 7/10/16 1:20 AM
I had the same dream but I actually felt like it was so real but in real life I don't have a baby and I keep dreaming of this little baby girl and I finally dreamed I was breastfeeding her I guess she was my daughter and it felt so real I felt my breast hurting... more...

RE:breast feeding a baby

by Valerie Green - 7/12/16 8:46 AM
To Anonymous - your dream about a human-looking spirit coming to defile you is a demonic attack! You need to pray in the name of Jesus, and look up scriptures about interbreeding with humans. You can't let this thing impregnate you, either by rape or coercion. It... more...

RE:breast feeding a baby

by anonymous - 7/17/16 3:36 PM
I had a dream while I was breastfeeding the baby of someone I know I real life and we happen to come from the same village... I was breastfeeding the baby and the baby was sucking n not ready to remove his mouth. I recently got married, and I have been on 21 days... more...

RE:breast feeding a baby

by Ane - 8/27/16 2:54 AM
This satan bulls***t puts me off. That is a brainwashed person full of manipulation and fear.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful nourishing act!

Read 150 more replies

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...

Latest of 54 Replies: Post a Reply

RE:Dog bite

by Anonymous - 7/30/16 5:09 AM
Hi, I had a dream that I kept getting bit by my sisters dog. She have a Chihuahua the dog kept biting me in my butt until I bled. What does this mean

RE:Dog bite

by sterz - 8/01/16 1:40 AM
pls i had a dream, in that dream..i and my mum were goin to d market wit someone(cnt remeber d person)..i saw ma friend..we were all goin to d market togeda...we got into an uncompleted building..nd at d front....d people dey were nt human beings....we decided to... more...

RE:Dog bite

by By Anonymous - 8/13/16 10:31 PM
Hi,All
I had a dream, that my boyfriend cousin dog was in the room while we were sleeping and I woke up to use the restroom not knowing the dog is in the room,well as I walk out the bites my leg and ran, my bf getting up and help me while his cousin just stands and... more...

RE:Dog bite

by Lashawn - 8/14/16 7:00 PM
Please help me to understand dream. Had a dream a dog had an infection of the skin that was cut out and the dog bit me on the arm causing my skin to Crack open. Please help me to understand

Read 50 more replies

Dead person wearing red

by Anonymous - 7/14/16 6:21 PM
My grandmother passed away and in my dream she was wearing a lot of red

1 Reply: Post a Reply

RE: Dead person wearing red

by Les Johnson - 8/13/16 6:29 AM
Were you close to her when she was alive?

4

by Rebeka - 6/09/16 1:03 AM
I dont remember where the place is. A little girl came to me and said " there is a letter for in the attic" I said we do not have attic . The girl said well I meant in the ceilin g. She was referring to my parents house. So I looked up and told her how can I reach... more...

Latest of 2 Replies: Post a Reply

RE:4

by Anonymous - 8/03/16 10:55 PM
Thank-you kindly for the interpretation. Unfortunately both my parents are in heaven. My mom passed away 2 years ago and I am still hurting. When I read your reply I cried cause I wished my mom was alive. I would have asked her right away. I guess at point I just... more...

Read 1 more reply

Hands pulsating black

by Anonymous - 7/31/16 3:13 AM
I had a dream a holy man was performing a sermon and broke off to come to me. He stood in front of me and took hold of both of my hands. As he was praying my hands were pulsating between black and natural colour. The holy man asked me if I have experienced... more...

No Replies Post a Reply

Funeral dream

by Trina - 7/19/16 1:07 PM
I dreamt I was at the funeral of my husband. I was surprised because I wasn't told and should have been. I was at the funeral home and frantically trying to find him and I couldn't. Never even saw the casket. I also never saw anyone I recognized. No family members... more...

1 Reply: Post a Reply

RE: Funeral dream

by OLGIE Ms.olgie - 7/23/16 8:08 AM
Hi. So I have some thoughts on your dream. When we drank of someone dieing, it usually means that either that relationship is going to die or a part of that person is going to die. Like his old ways. But in the dream you never see him, and when you walk outside you... more...

Received a bunch of fresh carrots from a nun

by Dreamer - 7/13/16 12:47 AM
I was with my friend at farmer's market because my friend wants to buy fruits. The only thing I want to buy was organic banana but the bananas dont look good so I asked the guy to bring more so he brought a box of bananas but again I was not satisfied the way they... more...

No Replies Post a Reply

Breast feeding babies

by Lol - 7/11/16 7:04 PM
What a terrible thing to say that a dream with breastfeeding a baby is bad, how dare you, you sick people

No Replies Post a Reply

Someone I know was wearing black

by Cherry - 6/09/16 5:01 AM
It was not really a dream, it was a vision i keep seeing him in my vision and dreams as well. This person really means a lot to me, but we are not seeing each other for almost a year and I am anxious why he is wearing a black now. Hope God will reveal the answer

Latest of 2 Replies: Post a Reply

RE:Someone I know was wearing black

by Don - 7/11/16 4:27 PM
Black always get a bad rap in a lot of circles! But I have found that weather you are wearing black or black being over you or under you simply means the Provenance of Creator!

Read 1 more reply

dreaming about a baby

by peoples mission belhar - 6/30/16 2:39 PM
when u dream about a baby then u gonna be spirutually pregnant with the word of God u have to pray to God cos God will help u not to have a miscarage.meaning that sonething in yr life will happen tmnot to harm u but to bring out the goid in u so u have to give... more...

No Replies Post a Reply

Read all 2472 comments »

Comment on Color Symbolism in The Bible and Color Meanings

Spam, links, and email addresses will be removed.