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Sunday, 17 December 2017
Yom Rishon, 29 Kislev 5778



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Symbolism in the Tanach-Old Testament


In the Tanch -Old Testament there has always been spiritual meanings behind symbols and numbers. These many meanings have always pointed to a greater picture, and that picture as we understand it has pointed us to understand a deeper truth or revelation of the creator and his creation.  Here is a small list that gives us an idea of what these symbols and numbers mean to the general reader.

Also see Symbolical nature of Numbers Used in the Tenach- O.T




Gold = Deity; highest quality; heavenly perfection

Silver = representative of blood, redemption or its price

Bronze/brass = a container for fire; related to sin

Wood = corruptible flesh

Fire = Judgment or God's presence (especially in a torch)

Stone = something always ritually pure

Clay = ritually corruptible, weakened, man-made

Uncut stone = the way God made it, unhampered by human effort

Rock = place of safety, military advantage

Gates = the seat of judgment and decision-making in a city

Mountains = government

Tower = Place of security; watchfulness

Table = feasting

Chair = throne or judgment

Sea = Gentile nations; the restlessness of human efforts; prison of some demons

Tent = transitory nature of life; sojourning; a mobile place of worship

Living Water = running water; ritual purification-spiritual refreshing

Flour/meal/bread/grain = fellowship with God or with other men

Leaven = sin or pride (puffs up to appear more than it really is)

Wine  =  joy, blood,  and gladness

Horns of Animal = power, protection

Sheep = God's people or character of people

Shepherd = leader, watchmen, protector

Goat = often demonic, rebellious or Gentile leader

Lion = ruler, king or Lord

Snake/serpent/dragon = Satan/sin

Raven = representative of unclean birds (sometimes a term for demons)

Dove = peace, clean, ritually pure; the Holy Spirit

Animal skins = covering of nakedness=sinful, sacrificial death

Blood = murder, redemption

(At one's) Right hand = position of highest  privilege and authority

Cherubim = angelic "guardians" of God's throne or position

Rod or scepter = rulership, protection, symbol of power and authority

Line = measurement, boundary mark

Sackcloth (burlap) and ashes = sign of deep mourning and repentance

Incense = acceptable prayer

Clouds = God's presence; mystery; multitudes of saints

Sword = war or judicial authority

Trumpet = awakening from normal routines

Light = revelation, truth

Oil = the Holy Spirit

Almond tree = harbinger of the new year

Olive tree = Israel's spiritual life

Fig tree = Israel's religious life

Vine = Israel's national life

Wind = spirit, breath

North = evil, idolatrous influence

Burning bush =God speaking through corruptible flesh without consuming it

brass serpent =sin being judged