What are Bible Symbols? If you have spent any time studying the Bible you probably already know what a Bible Symbol is even if you are not aware of it. The Bible is full of Symbols, but in case you don’t know what symbols are, below is a definition of what Bible Symbols are:
Symbols are a path to revelation. A Bible Symbol is a word in the Bible that has a deeper alternative meaning that is in addition to the plain, and obvious meaning. The alternative meaning is the “Symbolic Meaning” or “Symbolic Definition”. God designed to give some texts a deeper, alternative meaning. Bible Symbol definitions are defined by other Bible texts. Every Bible Symbol is defined by the Bible or it is not a true Bible Symbol.
Bible Symbols are used as Keys to unlock the deeper meaning, and doctrinal teachings of the Bible.
Bible symbols are keys to Doctrine that are also spoken of plainly in other places in the Bible. Symbols are not keys to a new doctrine, but keys to shine new light on old doctrine. God has put them there to back up what He has said plainly to prevent His words from being perverted and misused. It is the truth seeker that will find these keys and unlock the deeper meaning of the Bible and the path to salvation.
Bible Symbols are Keys to shine new light on old doctrine. Symbolism is the vehicle of revelation.
In order to answer the main question: What Are Bible Symbols? I give the following as an example of how Bible Symbols are keys to unlocking the deeper meaning of the Bible:
If a certain text when read plainly is mysterious. Then many people wonder and speculate as to what the meaning of the text is. After reading it and applying the symbols used in it to understand it, then it becomes clear as to what the meaning of the text is, and we then know that no human mind could have put it there.
Symbols are underlined and in Red
Bible Symbol: Isaiah 4:1 And in that daysevenwomen shall take hold of one man, saying, We willeatour ownbread, and wear our ownapparel: Only let us be called by thyname, To take away our reproach.
seven = Perfection, Completeness. Matthew 18:21-22; Genesis 2:1-2
man = Christ, Matthew 9:15 (The Bridegroom is the man)
eat = take in the message, understanding of God’s Word. Revelation 10:9-10; Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 3:1-3
bread = Jesus, word of God (the Bible by inference). Matthew 4:4; John 6:35, 40, 48, 51
apparel = character (see also garments) 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-4
name = character Proverbs 22:1; Ezekiel 36:22-27
Isaiah 4:1 and in that day allchurches (People claiming to be God’s people) shall take hold of (claim) Christ saying, we will understandGod’s word our way and put on our own character (as opposed to Christ’s): only let us say we have Christ’s character, to take away our reproach (Condemnation of our Sins).
The end time Churches have and will corrupt the Word of God and teach others the corrupt doctrine while claiming that they are Christians and keeping the Word of God. (See Revelation 3:14-22) Laodicea is the final of the Seven Churches of Revelation. It represents the end time church which needs nothing because it is increased with goods. They don’t need the character of Christ which is bought with Gold tried in the fire, which is how a Christian character is made through trials and affliction.
Note:Always remember that God has, and has always had, a pure remnant church throughout all time that will not follow the way of the other churches.
What Are Bible Symbols? An illustration is worth a thousand words. I hope this illustration has provided the words that cannot be explained unless I were to go into long detail about it and lose the attention of my readers. There are thousands of passages in the Bible that require this kind of attention and will bring a deeper and more thorough understanding of God’s word. It is up to us to study and find these Gems of truth and understand them.
Basic Rules for Interpretation:
Let the Bible Define or explain itself. Use one text to define another text. This is the “Golden Rule” of Symbolic Interpretation.
If a verse does not make sense when you read it literally (without interpretation), then look for a Symbolic meaning.
All verses in the Bible have a meaning. Nothing was put there arbitrarily, or randomly.
If a verse doesn’t make literal sense, then it should have a Symbolic meaning, If the verse makes sense then the literal sense must be used.
Not all verses have a symbolic meaning. Some verses have no Symbolic meaning. Philippians 1:1-6
Some verses have a double meaning, a literal, and obvious meaning, and a Symbolic meaning Simultaneously. Matthew 9:37-38
Some Verses only have Symbolic significance. Daniel 7:3-4
Sometimes a Symbol will have more than one definition, in different parts of the Bible. Symbols that have more than one definition must be applied as it makes logical sense and in the context of the text.
Some Definitions have more than one symbol. (see above, Name = character, Apparel = character)
The Bible may use a Symbol to define another Symbol. Jeremiah 6:2
Use all similar, or related words to find, and apply a Symbolic definition. ( Example: Apparel, Clothes, Raiment, Robe, Garment.)
Synonyms of the Word Symbol and their Definitions:
The words below have been used in place of the word Symbol. Sometimes correctly but sometimes incorrectly. Carefully read the definitions of the words so that you can use them in context, they are not always referring to a symbol.
Symbol = A word or Object that represents another thought, object, or something else. It can be a picture or Icon, or word that has a meaning beyond its primary meaning. Usually having a complex association (another Bible Verse) with the primary meaning of the word, but having a separate alternative meaning.
Similitude(s) = a comparison between two things, or a person or thing resembling another. Something Similar.
Signs = an object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence, occurrence, or advent of something else. An event that tells us that something else is about to happen.
Metaphor = Something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol
Euphemism = The substitution for a word thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt, with one that is mild, indirect, or a vague expression.
Types = to be a type or symbol of; Something that represents modeled after and original. Or, to represent prophetically; foreshadow; prefigure. The sacrificial Lamb in the Sanctuary service was a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Figures = (From “figure of speech”) – a word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for exaggeration or vivid effect.
Riddles = a question or statement phrased so as to require ingenuity in coming to a conclusion of its answer or meaning. Riddles are associated with proverbs and parables as means of teaching wisdom.
Parables = a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.
Illustrations = make clear by using examples, charts, Pictures, Stories, etc… of something that is easily understood or visualized.
Allegory = a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another, or, a symbolical narrative: the allegory of “Pilgrim’s Progress”
Icon = a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
Emblem = Like an Icon, it is representative of an object used to Symbolize something. The Olive Branch is an emblem of peace.