Meaning of White in the Bible

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What is the meaning of white in Scripture? Why is it considered the color of prophecy?

This color is the presence of all the light in the visible spectrum. When it enters our eyes, it stimulates all of our cone cells that God made light sensitive. Snow and clouds appear white because almost all of the light from the sun is reflected by water (either frozen or liquid), with only a small amount of the visible spectrum absorbed.

White, in the Bible and in today's society, is typically associated with purity, things that are good, innocence, honesty, and cleanliness.

Appearances of the color white

White (or its variations), in the King James translation, occurs 79 times. It is the most frequently mentioned pigment in the New Testament and in the word of God as a whole. It is the third most referenced color in the Old Testament, behind blue (50) and red (47).

The most frequent Old Testament Hebrew words referencing this coloration are laben (Strong's Concordance #H3836) and tsachor (#H6715), which refers to its name. Chur (#H2353) refers to linen and laban (#H3835) means to make something this pigment. In the New Testament, the Greek word leukaino (#G3021) is defined as whitening something, leukos (#G3022) refers to its name, and lampros (#G2986) refers to a radiant, magnificent version of this pigment.

The use of this color lends itself to representing righteousness (Daniel 7:9, Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:3, Luke 9:29, Revelation 1:12 - 14, 6:11, 19:8, 20:11) or pretending to be so (Revelation 6:2), or made pure (Daniel 11:35, 12:10, Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18, Revelation 3:18, 7:9, 13 - 14). It also symbolizes wisdom (Revelation 1:14), holiness or dedication to God (2Chronicles 5:12, Mark 16:5, John 20:12, Acts 1:10, Revelation 4:4, 19:14) or joy (Ecclesiastes 9:8).

The color of prophecy

Revelation discusses two prophetic horses, which are both white and seem to represent truth and righteousness. This is the conclusion drawn from several commentaries (Adam Clarke's Commentary, JFB Bible Commentary, etc.). The truth is, only one of the horses is of God!

And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse (one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse); and the one who was sitting on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering . . .

And I saw heaven open; and behold, a white horse; and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True and in righteousness He does judge and make war . . . (Revelation 6:2, 19:11).

The horse of Revelation 19 represents righteousness and is rode by a glorified Jesus. The rider is clothed in a garment 'dipped in blood,' which is Christ's own blood shed for our sins, and his name is the 'word of God,' which is precisely what the apostle John calls Jesus (John 1:1).

At his Second Coming, Jesus will assert his right to rule over mankind with a display of power that will encourage people to repent (see Revelation 9:20 - 21, 16:9).

Added info on Biblical meaning of white

The Great White Throne Judgment takes place in the second resurrection. It is a time, after the Millennium has completed, where God resurrects all those who never had a full chance at salvation (Revelation 20:5, 11 - 13). He then graciously opens their mind to his truth, giving them the ability to repent of their sins and ultimately receive eternal life.

The horse of Revelation 6 represents the ability of Satan to deceive and seem like he represents God. According to the apostle Paul, one of Satan's primary tactics is to lead people astray by appearing to be "an angel of light" who represents the truth (2Corinthians 11:13 - 14). He is, however, the father of deception and lies, and a master counterfeiter. In the end time, God permits him (Revelation 11:2, etc.) to deceive all mankind into thinking he is their 'savior.'

The devil's goals, in the End Time, will be to kill all true Christians, have humanity worship and obey him, and gather an army to fight the return of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 13:4 - 7, 14:11, 16:12 - 16, 17:14 - 18, 19:17 - 21, 12:9)! Paul also tells us that if the devil can appear to be righteous or 'white' so can the angels who follow him (2Corinthians 11:13). The horse of Revelation 6 and 19 each represent something unique in Scripture.

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Timelines of the End Time!
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Biblical Meaning of Colors!
Black    -    Blue    -    Brown    -    Crimson
Gray    -    Green    -    Purple    -    Red
Scarlet    -    Vermilion    -    White    -    Yellow

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