Dictionary of Bible Themes – 1670 symbols
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1670 symbols

1670 symbols

Objects, actions or creatures that have a deeper significance and are so understood by those who see them or use them.

Symbolic objects

The rainbow: a symbol of God’s covenant See also Ge 9:13; Eze 1:28; Rev 4:3

A stairway: a symbol of the way to God Ge 28:11-13; Jn 1:51

Thunder, lightning, cloud and smoke: symbols of God’s majesty Ex 19:16-18; Ex 24:17; Ps 97:2,4; Rev 4:5; Rev 8:5; Rev 11:19

Thunder: a symbol of God’s voice Ps 29:3; Ps 68:33

Trumpets: a symbol of God speaking Ex 19:19; Rev 8:6

The pillar of cloud and fire: a symbol of guidance Ex 13:21

A throne: a symbol of God’s glory Isa 6:1; Eze 1:26; Rev 4:2; Rev 22:3

Dry bones: a symbol of spiritual death Eze 37:1-2,11

White hair: a symbol of wisdom Da 7:9; Rev 1:14

The wind: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Jn 3:8; Ac 2:2

Fire: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Ac 2:3

Stars and lampstands: symbols of God’s ministers Rev 1:20

A signet ring: a symbol of authority Est 8:10; Hag 2:23

Arrows: symbols of God’s judgments Ps 38:2; Ps 120:4

A sceptre: a symbol of God’s rule Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27; Rev 19:15

The capstone: a symbol of pre-eminence Mt 21:42 pp Mk 12:10-11 pp Lk 20:17; Ps 118:22

A rock: a symbol of stability Ps 18:2; Ps 40:2

The human body: a symbol of interdependence 1Co 12:27

Grass: a symbol of human frailty Ps 90:5-6; 1Pe 1:24

Symbolic creatures

The serpent: a symbol of Satan’s subtlety Ge 3:1; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:1-3

Locusts: a symbol of God’s judgment Ex 10:12; Joel 1:4; Rev 9:3

Beasts: symbols of earthly kingdoms Da 7:2-7,17; Da 8:20-22

A dove: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Mt 3:16 pp Mk 1:10 pp Lk 3:22

A lamb: a symbol of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice Rev 5:6

Symbolic actions

Breaking a jar: a symbol of the destruction of Jerusalem Jer 19:10-11

The cursing of a fig-tree: a symbol of judgment Mt 21:18-19 pp Mk 11:12-14

Washing hands: a symbol of innocence Mt 27:24

Being thirsty: a symbol of spiritual need Ps 63:1; Jn 7:37

Baptism: a symbol of salvation in Jesus Christ Ac 22:16; Ro 6:3-4; 1Pe 3:21

The Lord’s Supper: a symbol of union with Christ Mt 26:26-29 pp Mk 14:22-24 pp Lk 22:19-20 pp 1Co 11:23-26

Anointing: a symbol of empowering by God’s Spirit 1Sa 16:13; Lk 4:18; Isa 61:1

Harvesting: a symbol of judgment day Joel 3:12-13; Mt 13:29-30; Rev 14:15

Tearing garments: a symbol of anger and sorrow Ge 37:29,34; Jos 7:6

Spitting: a symbol of contempt Isa 50:6; Mt 26:67 pp Mk 14:65

Shaking off dust: a symbol of rejection Mt 10:14 pp Lk 9:5; Ac 13:51

Sitting in sackcloth and ashes: a symbol of repentance Ps 69:11; Isa 22:12; Jnh 3:5-6; Mt 11:21

Lifting of hands: a symbol of prayer Ps 63:4; 1Ti 2:8

Covering the head: a symbol of submission 1Co 11:3-10

Symbols expressing God’s nature and character

God’s face: a symbol of his presence Nu 6:25-26; Ps 34:16

God’s arm or hand: a symbol of his power Ps 21:8; Ps 89:13

God’s eyes: a symbol of his awareness Pr 15:3; 1Pe 3:12

God’s ear: a symbol of God listening Ps 31:2; Isa 59:1

See also

1210God, human descriptions
1650numbers, significance
3120Holy Spirit, descriptions
7271Zion, as symbol
7933Lord’s Supper
9210judgment, God’s

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