Meaning of the color
Black in the Bible

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Black is, of course, the darkest color in the Bible. It lacks brightness or a hue, and although it absorbs light, it does not reflect any back. Scripture states that God is light (Psalm 104:2, 1John 1:5) and that the meaning of the devil's name before he became God's adversary was 'light bringer' (Isaiah 14:12). The universe God initially created was filled with his light, both literally and figuratively (see Revelation 21:23 - 24, 22:5).

When Lucifer chose to sin the light both in himself and that which he brought became darkness (which God determined beforehand would be a consequence of disobedience - see Isaiah 45:7). He became the first dark or black 'thing' that had ever existed (John 8:44) when he committed spiritual suicide.

In the physical universe, a black hole is a celestial object whose massive gravity pulls in all matter, including light, yet itself remains dark. Lucifer became a spiritual black hole when he took all the light God gave him and turning it into darkness.

In Western cultures today, this color symbolizes death and mourning. People sometimes wear dark clothes when they are mourning the death of someone they love.

Biblical meaning of the color black

In the KJV Bible, the word 'black' occurs eighteen times, three of which are in the New Testament. The words translated as this color and its very similar references such as "dark," "darkness," etc. come from a variety of original language sources (Strong's Concordance #H380, #H2821, #H3648, #H5508, #H6937, #H7835, #H7838, #H7840, etc.). The use of this color in Scripture lends itself to the following symbolic meanings.

It can mean famine in general (Jeremiah 14:1 - 2, Lamentations 5:10), famine because of war (Revelation 6:5), mourning and sorrow (Job 30:28, 30, Jeremiah 8:21, 14:2), or a period of time when no revelation (spiritual light) comes from God (Micah 3:6). It can signify the location of the dead (Job 3:5, 10:21 - 22) or where some evil spirits will spend eternity as punishment for their rebellion (Jude 13).

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Black can also represent the deceitful treatment of Job's friends (Job 6:16), God's judgment (Zechariah 6:2, 6) or affliction, calamity, adversity or suffering for one's sins (Lamentations 4:8, Job 3:5, 30:26, Psalm 107:10, 143:3, Isaiah 5:30, 8:22, Joel 2:6, Zephaniah 1:14 - 15, Revelation 16:10). It can signify punishment that is eternal for disobeying God (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30), a place of temporary restraint for disobedient angels (2Peter 2:4) or Satan, his ways and the power of evil (Acts 26:18, 1Thessalonians 5:5).

Natural objects referenced as black include hair, marble, skin, the sky, the sun and the sun and moon together (Matthew 5:36, Leviticus 13:31, Esther 1:6, Job 30:30, 1Kings 18:45, Proverbs 7:9, Revelation 6:12, Joel 2:10).

An indirect reference to the color

The Bible is clear in its condemnation of occult practices such as witchcraft, fortune telling (soothsaying), consulting the dead through mediums (channeling), sorcery, astrology and alike (Deuteronomy 18, Leviticus 19:31, 20, Acts 19:18 - 19 and so on). These practices are known as the black arts (magic).

Additional Study Materials
Was Jesus BLACK?
Is there really LIFE after DEATH?
What are the meaning of numbers in Scripture?
Colors in the Bible
BlackPurpleWhite
BlueRedYellow
CrimsonScarlet


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