Need help finding a reference for my pastor

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David P. Moore | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Mar 21 2010 11:24 AM

In his sermon today, my pastor was talking about how sin is represented by the color red in the bible, and he mentioned that one time while researching this topic in his personal library he came across a text (probably a commentary) that said that a cloth of any color but red can be dyed another color, but if a red cloth is dyed another color, the red will eventually bleed back thorugh. He has tried but cannot find again the book from his library that has this observation.

I immediately thought what an excellent opportunity to use my Logos program to find it and show my pastor, and so I ran home to look it up, but can't find anything in my library that might be it. My Logos library is only a few hundred resources, so I thought I would email the forum to ask if someone with a larger library would run a search to see if they can find this. I have been searching my Entire Library for something like dye NEAR red NEAR bleed and variations thereof.

I would appreciate any volunteers to give this a shot. Thanks!

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 21 2010 11:58 AM

Well I'm pretty sure that the illustration is not entirely true, red can not bleed through black. (actually any color that has red as one of it's primary colors can overcome red dye)

But, in regards to your question I did find this:

5269 Through Glass
 They tell us that cloth which has been dyed red can never be restored to its original purity. But when a piece of red cloth is viewed through ruby glass, the colour is lost, and it appears white. So sins—red like crimson—are white as wool when the blood of Christ is interposed.

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996).

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 21 2010 12:12 PM

When it comes to symbols, symbols never refer to just one item (ie. the color red will always represents sins.  Red also represents war and luxury ).  Depending on the which translation you are using, sin is sometimes represented by red, scarlet, and crimson.


From Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible:


Though the abstract term “color” is not found in the and not used in the , both parts of the Christian Bible describe various colors. Athalya Brenner identifies five basic colors mentioned in the OT: (1) red ( ˒āḏōm); (2) white (lāḇān); (3) black (šāḥōr); (4) green (yārôq); and (5) yellow (ṣāhōḇ). Though other color terms also are found in Scripture (e.g., purple), they do not fit the criteria for basic colors. These terms meet three primary characteristics: (1) monolexemic (i.e., no expressions such as reddish); (2) exclusive signification (i.e., must not be a term that can be subsumed under a broader color); and (3) unrestricted applicability (i.e., the color has a universal application; it is not restricted to a narrow class of objects). Of the five main color terms, the dominant three are red, white, and black.

White is the term used most often, and it not only describes the color of an object (hair in Lev. 13) but also has a symbolic significance. It indicates wealth (Gen. 49:12; Esth. 1:6), joy (Eccl. 9:8), or purity (Rev. 3:4; 7:9, 13–14). White was not a natural color in Israel; fullers bleached natural fabrics to achieve the color.

Black is used to describe the color of objects, such as sheep (Gen. 30:32–33, 35, 40) or hair (Cant. 5:11), but it can also symbolize trouble (Job 3:5) or judgment (2 Pet. 2:17; Rev. 6:5). Red is used to describe the color of skin (Gen. 25:25), stew (v. 30), and blood (2 Kgs. 3:22). Red also is used symbolically to describe luxury (Isa. 63:2) and war (Rev. 6:4). Tints of red include such color terms as purple, scarlet, and crimson. Purple, a symbol of luxury or kingship (Esth. 8:15; Cant. 3:10; John 19:2), was derived from the murex shellfish along the coastline of Palestine, which accounts for the name of the region — Canaan (the land of purple). Scarlet and crimson are derived from the female insect known as kermes and are used to describe the color of sin (Isa. 1:18).

Often there is a tendency to overinterpret Scripture by attaching symbolic meaning to a color in the text. Scholars might suggest that the colors of the tabernacle — predominantly blue, purple, and scarlet — have some deep, spiritual meaning attached to them. However, if the text does not allude to a deeper significance, it is best to avoid those interpretations.


From The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised: 




I. Hebrew and Greek Terms

The word translated “color” in the most frequently is ‘ayin, which [Vol. 1, Page 730] literally means “eye” or “appearance” and is usually so translated in the . In the the próphasis has the meaning of pretense or show (AV Acts 27:30; cf. Rev. 17:4). The references to Joseph’s coat “of many colors” (AV Gen. 37:3, 23, 32) and to garments “of divers colors” (2 S. 13:18) probably do not mean the color of the garment at all; Heb passîm more likely indicates that it had long sleeves, as suggested by the RSV and . In Jgs. 5:30 the word for “dip” or “dye,” Heb ṣeḇa‘, appears in the and has been so translated by the RSV (see dye). In 1 Ch. 29:2 Heb riqmâ, meaning “variegated,” hence “varicolored,” occurs. In Isa. 54:11 pûḵ is used. This name was applied to the sulphide of antimony used for painting the eyes; thus the RSV rendering “antimony” instead of “fair colors”(see paint).

II. Color Awareness Among the Ancient Hebrews

Although the ancient Hebrews had no specific words for “color,” “paint,” or “painter,” we know that they constantly met with displays of the art of coloring among the Assyrians, Babylonians (Ezk. 23:14), Egyptians, and the inhabitants of Palestine. Pottery, glazed bricks, glassware, tomb walls, sarcophagi, wood, and fabrics were submitted to the skill of the colorist. Babylonian and Assyrian ziggurat towers, e.g., were made of glazed enamel bricks, each story of a different color. The dominant colors in Assyrian wall paintings were bright blue (lapis lazuli) and red, with black and white as secondary colors. The Egyptian tomb frescoes of the New Kingdom (1580-1375 b.c.) show mainly red, yellow, and brown, but also whitewash, blue, and black. The Greek term for Phoenicia (Phoinikē) means “land of the red-purple”; the dye is extracted from the murex shellfish taken in waters off the coastline. This industry was still widespread in NT times (Acts 16:19).

Two reasons may be given for the indefiniteness of many of the biblical references to color. (1) The origin of the Hebrew people: they had been wandering tribes or slaves with no occasion to develop a color language. (2) Their religious laws: these forbade expression in color in the form of graven images (Ex. 20:4). Yielding to the attractions of gorgeous display was discouraged by such prophets as Ezekiel, who had sickened of the abominations of the Chaldeans (Ezk. 23:14–16): “and I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on” (Ezk. 20:7).

III. Biblical References to Color

A. Eyes, Hair, Skin, and Teeth Biblical references do not specify color of eyes, though presumably different darker hues were known and appreciated. David had “beautiful” eyes according to 1 S. 16:12 ( “health”; AV “countenance”). In Cant. 1:15; 4:1 the whites of the woman’s eyes are associated with the color of doves or pigeons; in 5:12 the comparison is applied to the white of the beloved man’s eyes. “Redness” of eyes (Prov. 23:29; lit “dull”) means bloodshot. Leah’s “tender” (AV), “weak” (RSV), dull, pale, lackluster, or bleary eyes are contrasted with (the eyes of) her sister Rachel, described as “beautiful” (or healthy) and “lovely” (Gen. 29:17). Ideally a woman’s eyes were glowing and lively. Eyes could be “like flaming torches” (Dnl. 10:6; Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12), “lustful” (1 Jn. 2:16), “wanton” (Isa. 3:16), and either “disturbing” (Cant. 6:5), or “like the eyelids of the dawn” (Job 41:18). Hair color is normally shiny black-brown as of goats’ hair (Cant. 4:1; 6:5); when diseased, white or yellow (Lev. 13:10, 30). With age, hair turns gray (Gen. 42:38; Ps. 71:18; Prov. 20:29; Isa. 46:4).

Skin tones seen in Palestine covered a wide range of colors with darker shades predominating. The biblical references accent the noteworthy extremes, such as brown-black from over-exposure to the sun (Job 30:28, 30), black (associated with the “sons of Ham,” including Libyans, Egyptians, and Ethiopians [Am. 9:7; Jer. 13:23, where J. Bright translates Ethiopians as “Negro”]) and white (Lev. 13:10; lit “white as milk,” i.e., diseased or abnormal). Healthy skin is “fresh” (Heb ruṭapaš) as a child’s (Job 33:25; lit “fat”) or “fair” (ṭôḇ, yāp̱eh, etc., Gen. 24:16; 26:7; Est. 1:11; Job 42:14; Cant. 1:8; 2:10, 13; 5:9; 6:10; Hos. 10:11; Am. 8:13; Jer. 15:2; Ps. 45:2). The term “fair” is normally used of women, but also of David (1 S. 17:42) and Absalom (2 S. 13:1); it is associated with “ruddy” (’āḏam, ’aḏmônî), which literally meant tinted with red ochre, “more ruddy than coral” (Lam. 4:7). Fair skin could be artificially produced with cosmetics (hithpael of yāp̱â, Jer. 4:30; RSV “beautify”) (see III.E). Skin should “shine” (qāran, Ex. 34:29f, 35), sending out rays of light. Understandable was an association of skin color with bronze (nāḥûš, neḥōšeṯ), as in Ezk. 40:3; Job 6:12. Teeth could be white as milk (lāḇān, Gen. 49:12) or as newly washed sheep (Cant. 4:2; 6:6).


B. Textiles The extensive manufacture and use of textiles for tents, sacking, basketry, clothing, curtains, and decorations added a wide range of colors to the biblical culture. The natural colors of the fabrics varied. The wool of goats naturally came in dark colors from brown to black, while that of sheep came in lighter colors from brownish to off-white, and that of camels (for cheapest clothing and heavy tents) varied from brown to tan. Linen and “fine linen” (i.e., “silky”) made from flax was yellow-tan to white. Cotton was always white. Sackcloth, a rough cloth which was at times woven of hair and usually dark in color (Isa. 50:3; Rev. 6:12), was used for sacks and for mourning garments (Est. 4:1–4; Job 16:15; Isa. 20:2). Haircloth (2 K. 1:8) was a recognized costume of a prophet (Zec. 13:4; Mt. 3:4).

The threads, not the woven cloth, were dyed. A principal dye from the murex shellfish was a deep crimson. Used in combination with other dyes, this expensive “royal purple” could produce various shades from red to blue. By bleaching (see Fuller) additional shades were possible. Israelite bleaching, dyeing, and weaving on an industrial scale is known archeologically from Tell Beit Mirsim (Debir?), Tell Jezer, Beth-shemesh, Tell en-Naṣbeh (Mizpah?), and Khirbet eṭ-Ṭubeiqah. “The families of the house of them that wrought fine linen” (1 Ch. 4:21) has been interpreted () as indicating that artisans skilled in dyeing and weaving were at times organized into recognized guilds.

Embroidery, the interweaving of threads of various colors into specific patterns, was an art for which the Israelites were famed (Prov. 31:22; Jgs. 5:30). Oholiab, a Danite, did such work for the tabernacle (Ex. 35:34f). Israelite workers wove “purple, crimson and blue fabrics” and “fine linen” for the temple veil (2 Ch. 2:7; 3:14). Carpets, spreads, and coverings were richly colored (Ezk. 27:23; Prov. 7:16; Jgs. 5:10), while pillows were woven of black-brown goats’ hair (1 S. 19:13, 16).

Extrabiblical sources illustrate colorful textiles made and worn by Semites. In the 8th b.c., lists of booty taken by Tiglath-pileser III from the kings of the west — including those of Samaria and Judah — mention “linen garments with multicolored trimmings, garments of their native (industries) (being made of) dark purple wool” (, p. 282.). A wall painting by an Egyptian artist in a tomb at Beni-hasan ( 1890 b.c.) gives a visual representation of a visiting group of “Asiatics,” men, women, and children. Their clothing is decorated [Vol. 1, Page 731] with colored fringes and with red, blue, and brown designs against a white background (, no. 3 and notes, p. 249; Avi-Yonah, pp. 42–44).


C. Pottery Natural Palestinian clays contain varying amounts of iron, giving colors ranging from reddish brown to tan. These colors are minimized or intensified by the firing process. While glazing was not developed, but was known from imported pots, burnishing was used. Decoration with color by slip, banding, or wash was employed, but these were more widely used at some periods than others. Palestinian local wares were most highly decorated and colorful in the Late Bronze period (ca 1500-1200 b.c.); the colors generally used were buff, cream, gray, red, brown, and dark brown together with combinations such as brown with gray or green; red with black, pink, or yellow; black with pink, gray, or red; green with buff or brown; yellow with red, gray, or white. Blue and purple shades were rare. Such colors and combinations of colors were more or less typical of pottery decoration throughout the history of Palestine in Bible times.

In the NT period “pompeian red” siglata ware was imported. Imported pottery was also seen in Palestine. Especially striking were Philistine types with horizontal bands, geometric designs, metopes, and pictures in black line drawing on white or buff backgrounds, highlighted with color, especially reddish purple. Imported pottery (except Egyptian) was more elaborate, colorful, and of higher quality than the local ware. From earliest Israelite times pottery was known from Greece, Cyprus, Phoenicia, and Crete in forms characteristic of these lands. Hellenistic decorated ware used varying shades of black, brown, or red in glazes, paints, slips, and washes.


D. Wall Painting Except for slight evidence in early levels at Megiddo and Jericho, archeologists have not discovered much evidence of wall painting in OT Palestine. In Neolithic Teleilât el-Ghassûl (ca 3500 b.c.) geometric patterns and pictures, such as an eight-ray star and a realistically drawn bird, appear with the colors red, yellow, black, white, and dark red. The Hellenistic tombs of Marisa (3rd cent b.c.) had wall designs and pictures of wildlife in extraordinarily bright colors, as well as the sort of painted “imitation marble” to be seen in Herod’s palace at Masada (1st cent a.d.). The walls of Herod’s palace at NT Jericho and the palace at Khirbet al Majar (8th cent a.d.) were decorated with carved and painted stucco. The walls of the Dura Europos synagogue (built a.d. 250) were covered with richly painted scenes of OT history and include also painted “imitation marble.” Note the “ivory” palace of Ahab (1 K. 22:39) and the palace of Jehoiakim, known for extensive use of vermilion paint (Jer. 22:14); Ezekiel’s references to the animals and idols painted (?) on the walls of a secret place in the temple (8:10) and to a Chaldean bas-relief “portrayed in vermilion” (23:14); the Babylonian “red” shields borne by soldiers “clothed in scarlet” (Nah. 2.3). Such an accumulation of evidence goes far to suggest that Israelites were familiar with the techniques of alfresco painting with colors.


E. Cosmetics “Adorning” herself, Jezebel “painted her eyes” (2 K. 9:30). Other references (Jer. 4:30; Ezk. 23:40) are to prostitutes who “beautify” themselves by outlining the eyes with black galena or stibnite to make them appear larger. Egyptian women customarily used black above the eye and green (occasionally yellow and more rarely red) below. Red ochre was used to decorate lips, cheeks, palms, fingernails, soles of the feet, and hair. The OT shows no trace of the magical and superstitious significance of cosmetics which appears to have been commonly accepted in Egypt and Mesopotamia.


IV. Colors in Symbolism

Color terms have general symbolic significance: white for purity (Mk. 1:6) and joy (Eccl. 9:8); black for decay (Job 30:30) and judgment (Mic. 3:6); red (not frequent) for life-blood (2 K. 3:22f), and also for sins (Isa. 1:18); blue, the sky-color, frequently used with white or purple in contexts of royalty, but more often (by association with the tabernacle, temple fabrics, and sacred tassels) considered the “Yahweh” color (Nu. 15:38; Ps. 11:4); red-purple for luxury and elegance (Jgs. 8:26; Est. 8:15; Lk. 16:19).

In apocalyptic symbolism, color terms are adopted, adapted, and sometimes altered. Thus the symbolism in apocalyptic writings: white for conquest or victory, either temporary or eternal (Dnl. 7:9; Zec. 6:3; Rev. 1:14; 7:13f); black for scarcity of food, or famine (Zec. 6:6; Rev. 6:5); red for slaughter in strife, usually of war (Zec. 6:2; Rev. 6:4); “pale,” or literally “greenish-gray” (the color of a corpse), for death (Rev. 6:8) (cf. “dappled gray,” Zec. 6:3, 6); purple for royalty, or often for pretended royalty (Dnl. 5:7; in Rev. 17:14; 18:12, 16 joined with scarlet); rainbow, as total color, for omnipotence (Rev. 4:3; 10:1).

V. Color Terms Most Widely Used

In Hebrew, “a language of the senses” (G. A. Smith), color terms are not abstractions but distinctions of shade by visual association with concrete sense perceptions. Thus, OT people did not think, “the color of blood is red,” but, “red is the color seen in blood” (cf. 2 K. 3:22); not, “the color of vegetation is green,” but, “green is the color seen in vegetation” (cf. Ps. 23:2; Jer. 11:16). As was usual in the languages of the ancient world, the Hebrew color vocabulary was simple and undeveloped. An added factor for Hebrew was the religious prohibition against image-making (Ex. 20:4; Dt. 5:8), which was understood to include the painting of pictures. With this understanding, certain observations can be made regarding the most widely used color terms:


A. Black Different words have been translated “black,” with various meanings such as “dusky,” “swarthy,” “dark.” “Black” is applied to hair (Lev. 13:31; Cant. 5:11; Mt. 5:36), to mourning (Job 30:28, 30; Jer. 14:2), to horses (Zec. 6:2, 6; Rev. 6:5), to the heavens (1 K. 18:45; Job 3:5; Prov. 7:9; Jer. 4:28; Mic. 3:6), to the sun (Rev. 6:12), to the skin (Cant. 1:5f), to flocks (Gen. 30:32, AV “brown”).


B. Blue Heb teḵēleṯ is applied only to fabrics dyed with a special blue dye obtained from a shellfish, frequently in association with purple. “Blue” is applied to fringes, the veil, vestments, and embroideries in the descriptions of the tabernacle (Ex. 25; Nu. 4:6; 15:38); also to workers in blue (2 Ch. 2:7, 14; 3:14), palace adornments (Est. 1:6), and royal apparel (Est. 8:15; Jer. 10:9; Ezk. 23:6; 27:7, 24).


C. Crimson Three words are translated “crimson”: Heb šānî, the dye (2 S. 1:14; Jer. 4:30); tôlā‘, cloth dyed with šānî (Lev. 14:4; Isa. 1:18); and karmîl, a late synonym for tôlā‘ (2 Ch. 2:7, 14; 3:14). “Crimson” is applied to clothing (2 S. 1:24; Lev. 14:4), also to sins (Isa. 1:18).


D. Gray The Heb śêḇ means “be old,” and hence refers to the color of the hair in old age (Gen. 42:38; 44:29, 31; Dt. 32:25; 1 S. 12:2; Job 15:10; Ps. 71:18; Prov. 20:29; Isa. 46:4; Hos. 7:9). ̣Śêḇ is rendered “hoar” or “hoary” applying to hair in Lev. 19:32; Job 41:32; Prov. 16:31 (AV also in 1 K. 2:6, 9; Isa. 46:4). The RSV renders “dappled gray” for the difficult Heb beruddîm ’amuṣṣîm (AV “grisled and bay”) in Zec. 6:3.


E. Green This word refers almost without exception to vegetation. The Heb ỵārāq, literally “pale,” is considered one of the three definite color words used in the OT (the others being red and white). The Greek equivalent is [Vol. 1, Page 732] chlōrós. Yārāq occurs in Gen. 1:30; 9:3; Ex. 10:15; Ps. 37:2; Job 39:8, and chlōrós in Mk. 6:39; Rev. 8:7; 9:4. Heb ra‘anān, closely allied in meaning to yārāq, is used to describe the color of trees in Dt. 12:2; Ex. 10:15; 1 K. 14:23; 2 K. 16:24; 17:10; 2 Ch. 28:4; Job 15:32; Ps. 52:8; etc. Elsewhere the Hebrew equivalents donote the condition of being full of sap, fresh, or unripe, as in Jgs. 16:7f; Ps. 92:14; Ezk. 17:24; 20:47; Lk. 23:31. “Greenish” is used to describe leprous spots (Lev. 13:49; 14:37) and gold in Ps. 68:13 (RSV “green”; AV, NEB, “yellow”).


F. Purple The Heb ’argāmān is a loanword; the Greek word is porphýreos. The latter word refers to the source of the dye, a shellfish found on the shores of the Mediterranean. This color, which varied widely according to the kind of shellfish used and the method of dyeing, was utilized in the adornment of the tabernacle (Ex. 25–27; Nu. 4:13). There were workers in purple called to help in beautifying the temple (2 Ch. 2:7, 14; 3:14). Purple was much used for royal garments and furnishings (Jgs. 8:26; Est. 1:6; 8:15; Cant. 3:10; 7:5; Dnl. 5:7, 16, 29; Mk. 15:17, 20; Jn. 19:2, 5); it was typical of gorgeous apparel (Prov. 31:22; Jer. 10:9; Ezk. 23:6; 27:7, 16; Lam. 4:5; Mk. 15:17, 20; Lk. 16:19; Jn. 19:2, 5; Acts 16:14; Rev. 17:4; 18:12, 16).


G. Red The Heb ’āḏōm is from dām, “blood,” and hence it means “bloodlike.” One of the three distinct color words mentioned in the OT, it is used in most of the references to red. Ḥaḵlîlî probably means “fiery” (Gen. 49:12; Prov. 23:29), and Gk pyrrós means “fire-colored” (Mt. 16:2f; Rev. 6:4; 12:3). “Red” is applied to dyed skins (Ex. 25:5; 26:24; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34), to the color of animals (Nu. 19:2; Zec. 1:8; 6:2; Rev. 6:4; 12:3), to the human skin (as “ruddy” in Gen. 25:25; 1 S. 16:12; 17:42; Cant. 5:10; Lam. 4:7), to the eyes (Gen. 49:12; Job 16:16; Prov. 23:29), to sores (Lev. 13), to wine (Prov. 23:31), to water (2 K. 3:22), to pottage (Gen. 25:30), to apparel (Isa. 63:2; Rev. 9:17), to the sky (Mt. 16:2f), to sins (Isa. 1:18), to shields (Nah. 2:3) (see also Red Sea).


H. Scarlet Scarlet and crimson colors were probably from the same source. Heb tôlā‘ and derivatives have been translated by both “scarlet” and “crimson” (Gk kókkinos). “Scarlet” is applied to fabrics or yarns used (1) in the equipment of the tabernacle (Ex. 2:5ff; Nu. 4:8); (2) in rites in cleansing lepers (Lev. 14); (3) in the ceremony of purification (Nu. 19:6); (4) in association with royal or gorgeous apparel (2 S. 1:24; Prov. 31:21; Lam. 4:5; Jer. 4:30; Nah. 2:3; Mt. 27:28; Rev. 17:4; 18:12, 16); (5) for marking-thread (Gen. 38:28, 30; Josh. 2:18, 21). It is also used of lips (Cant. 4:3), sins (Isa. 1:18), beasts (Rev. 17:3), and wool (He. 9:19).


I. White The principal word for whiteness in Hebrew is lāḇān, a distinctive color word, associated with the color of snow (Isa. 1:18), milk (Gen. 49:12), wool (Ezk. 27:18; Rev. 1:14), and general cleanness (Eccl. 9:8; Dnl. 11:35; 12:10). “White” is applied to goats (Gen. 30:35), teeth (Gen. 49:12), leprous hairs and spots (Lev. 13; Nu. 12:10), garments (Eccl. 9:8; Isa. 19:9; Dnl. 1:9), horses (Zec. 1:8; 6:3, 6), tree branches (Gen. 30:37; Joel 1:7), coriander seed (Ex. 16:31). The corresponding Greek word leukós is applied to hair (Mt. 5:36; Rev. 1:14), to raiment (Mt. 17:2; 28:3; Mk. 9:3; 16:5; Lk. 9:29; Jn. 20:12; Acts 1:10; Rev. 3:4f, 18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13f; 19:14), a harvest (Jn. 4:35), horses (Rev. 6:2; 19:11, 14), a throne (20:11), a stone (2:17), a cloud (14:14). Besides lāḇān, three other Hebrew words have been translated “white”: (1) ḥōrî or ḥûr, meaning “bleached,” as of flour (Gen. 40:16), linen (Est. 1:6; 8:15; Isa. 19:9), or a human face (Isa. 29:22, RSV “pale”); (2) ṣaḥ or ṣāḥōr, literally “whiteness,” is applied to yellowish-red asses, translated “tawny” (Jgs. 5:10), to human appearance, translated “radiant” (RSV Cant. 5:10), to wool (Ezk. 27:18); (3) dar, occurring only in Est. 1:6, is used of a pearl-like stone floor.


J. Others Less widely used terms include “yellow,” Heb, ṣāhōḇ used of leprous hair in Lev. 13; and “vermilion,” Heb šāšar, a deep red paint, probably an oxide of iron (Jer. 22:14; Ezk. 23:14).



I did find this article from Galaxie Software, 10,000 Sermon Illustrations (Biblical Studies Press, 2002; 2002)  I have came across something that was incorrect in this publication, so I would take this statement with a couple of grains of salt.



Isaiah 1:18


Bible commentators say that scarlet portrays sin, not only to denote its dreadful character, but also to emphasize its indelible nature. They tell us that you can immerse a cloth in any other color and the stain can be removed. Once red dye has been thoroughly set in a piece of goods, however, no scientific method is know that can successfully eliminate it without damaging the fabric. Even if the material is rubbed and scrubbed until threadbare, the fibers that are left will still retain their crimson hue. 

Sin is thus pictured as being indelible as far as human efforts to remove it are concerned. There is nothing man himself can do to change his evil nature and turn it into the white purity of holiness. God alone has the power to erase the terrible stain of our sin. 

Our Daily Bread 






Posts 847
Praiser | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 21 2010 1:42 PM


Couldn't find what you were looking for but came across the following which I found interesting.

Jesus is depicted here. Not only did He leave His home in heaven to dwell among people who wouldn’t receive Him (John 1:11), but in Psalm 22:6, He says, prophetically, “I am a worm and not a man.” The Hebrew word, tola—the plural of which is tolaith—is translated two ways in the Bible: as either “scarlet” or “worm.” Why would the same word be used for both “scarlet” and “worm”? Because in Bible days, when people needed scarlet cloth, they would grind worms into a pasty, blood-red substance that would be used as a dye. Why would Jesus say, “I am a worm?” Because, to reproduce, the tola would climb the trunk of a tree and fasten on a limb. Then the worm would lay the larva and cover the eggs with its body. Although the eggs would hatch, the worm wouldn’t budge. So the larva would begin to feed on the body of the one who had given them life. As the tola gave its life for its young, its blood would leave a scarlet mark on the tree. After the dead worm fell, the bloody spot left on the limb of the tree would dry after three days, becoming a white, flaky substance that would fall to the ground like snow. “Though your sins be as scarlet—tola—they shall be white as snow,” Isaiah declares (1:18). Fastened to the tree of the Cross of Calvary, Jesus wouldn’t budge until the work was finished. What work? The work that would allow you and me to be “hatched,” to be born again. “Eat of My Body,” He says. “Drink of My blood. I give My life for you. (Mark 14:22–24). By His blood, Jesus not only saved us, but, like Tola in the text before us, He is the Judge who defends us. Courson, J. (2005). Jon Courson's application commentary : Volume one : Genesis-Job (768–769). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Posts 456
Roger Feenstra | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 21 2010 6:28 PM

Fastened to the tree of the Cross of Calvary, Jesus wouldn’t budge until the work was finished

Interesting from Courson, but as typical with him, usually a stretch.  

Elder/Pastor, Hope Now Bible Church, Fresno CA

Posts 584
David P. Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 23 2010 4:49 PM

Thanks to everyone for replying! I printed out the replies for my pastor and he was very grateful!

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