The Color Red

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Meaning of Colors in the Bible
Black    -    Blue    -    Brown    -    Crimson
Gray    -    Green    -    Purple
Scarlet    -    Vermilion    -    White    -    Yellow
What is the meaning of red in Scripture? What three important prophetic animals are this color?

Red, found in rainbows, possesses the longest wavelength of light (620 to 740 nanometers). It is the second most popular favorite color among humans (the first is blue) and is found on more than 75% of all the world's national flags. Red is the first pigment ever used for art.

Traffic lights and signs globally contain red to denote a stop is needed while traveling in a particular direction. It is one of only four colors that are part of the name of a Sea (the others being the Black Sea, White Sea and Yellow Sea).

Red and reddish dyes can be produced from vegetables, the bodies of certain insects, and from minerals such as iron oxide. Ancient Aztecs treated dyes in this coloration as more valuable as gold or silver, as it took hundreds of people to collect the female cochineal beetle from which it was made.

Children of Charles Blair
Children of Charles Blair in Red, Green
Thomas Beach, 1769 A.D.

Appearances of the Color Red

The English word "red" appears 53 times in 52 King James Bible verses. It is written the most in the book of Exodus (11) followed by Numbers and the Psalms (6 times each). 6 out of it 53 Biblical appearances occur in the New Testament.

There are several Hebrew Old Testament words that are translated as red. The most frequently used words are adom (Strong's Concordance #H122), which is the color's name, chakliyl (#H2447), which literally is "dark" or a person stimulated by wine, suph (#H5488 and #H5489), which is "a reed" and is used to refer to the Red Sea, and adam (#H119), which means to show blood.

In the New Testament, the Greek words used are purrhazo (#G4449), which refers to the color's name, eruthros (#G2063), which is used to refer to a sea, and purrhos (#G4450), which references something that is the shade of fire or flame.

The use of red in Scripture can symbolically represent sin and sinfulness, Godly vengeance against sinners and bloodshed along with war. It can also carry the meaning of being tempted to sin (Proverbs 23:31).

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them (Psalm 75:8, KJV, see also Isaiah 63:2).

And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood (2Kings 3:22, KJV, see also Nahum 2:3, Zechariah 1:8, 6:2, Revelation 6:4, 12:3).

Three Prophetic Animals

God commanded ancient Israel to use the ashes of a red heifer for the ceremonial cleansing of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Number 19:3 - 6). The New Testament seems to indicate that some sort of altar or temple (with sacrifices?) in Jerusalem will exist in the End Time before the return of Christ (Mark 13:14, Matthew 24:15, 2Thessalonians 2:3 - 4).

Some Christians and orthodox Jews would like to see a third temple built in Jerusalem. If and when such a building is erected, however, the belief is it would first need cleansing by the ashes of this special heifer before it could be used.

The horse of Revelation 6, symbolizing war and bloodshed, appears when one of the prophetic end time seals is opened.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword (Revelation 6:1, KJV).

The appearance of the great red dragon of Revelation 12, representing the power of Satan and his steadfastness to bring bloodshed and death to all, signals the beginning of the worst time any human will experience (Matthew 24:21).

More Info on Biblical Meaning of Red

The Red Sea is a body of water that lies between the African continent (modern Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti) and the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia and Yemen). Its length is about 1,400 miles, with a maximum width of about 220 miles, and is the most northern sea on the planet that is tropical. It is unusual in that no rivers flow into it.

Egypt's Pharaoh was angry and foolish enough to chase the fleeing Israelites as they miraculously crossed the Sea dry shod. When the last Israelite made it to the other side of the sea, God caused its waters to return to normal, thus drowning Pharaoh's entire army (Exodus 14 and 15).

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