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The Color Blue in the Bible: Its Intriguing Significance

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As we continue our series on color symbolism in the Bible, today, we will focus on the color blue in the Bible. Although we briefly explored the significance of color, in the first post of this series, Red in the Bible, we’ll do a quick recap for our new visitors before jumping into blue in the Bible. (For an overview of colors in the Bible, see this post).

image of blue light waves with the text The Color Blue in the Bible: Its Intriguing Significance

(For more on color symbolism in the Bible, see these posts on red, yellow, green, white, and black)

Colors are used throughout the Bible to reflect meanings or spiritual truths. They have a symbolic significance and can remind us of God and his plan for our salvation.

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Looking at symbolism in the Bible is a part of Hebrew hermeneutics. as a“Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. It is part of the broader field of hermeneutics, which involves the study of principles of interpretation for all forms of communication, nonverbal and verbal.

This approach also includes “remez.” A remez is a hint of a hidden message or a deeper meaning that is below the surface or behind the words. Numbers and colors are both remezes. (A remez is a hint—wherein a word, phrase, or other elements in the text hints at truth or a deep allegoric  – hidden or symbolic meaning).

By studying colors we are studying a form of non-verbal communication by God. He uses colors as a visual sign to represent His promises, plans for our salvation, and, much more.

We know that God and even Jesus, in His time on earth, used Bible symbolism frequently used symbolism to illustrate biblical truths.

cover of symbolism of colors in the Bible ebook

For example, we know that Jesus was described as the “Sacrificial lamb,” and Satan is often symbolized by a serpent.

In other passages, we know that Daniel was gifted with the ability to interpret dream symbolism for King Nebuchadnezzar. In these dreams, God was speaking in symbolism.

Even today, God speaks to us through symbolism. For example, rainbows are a symbol of God’s promise that He won’t destroy the world with a flood again.

God may speak to you through symbolism, as well.

Colors in the Bible have deep symbolism, but many colors have multiple meanings.

Blue in the Bible

The color blue, according to many Bible scholars, represents Heaven. Blue is the color of the sky and a reminder of the heavenly realm. We are given a glimpse of Heaven when we read the description of what Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (the sons of Moses), and the 70 elders of Israel saw when they went up to Mount Sinai to worship God.

The Bible explains that they not only saw God but that under His feet was a pavement made of Sapphires.

“and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.”

Exodus 24:10 (ESV)

The Hebrew term for “blue” is tekelet which is sometimes translated as “purple” (Ezekiel 23:6) or “violet” (Jeremiah 10:9) and is a reference to the animal from which the dye comes. Blue dyes were somewhat inferior to the more royal dye purple but still very popular and relatively expensive. 

It is interesting to note, however, that the word for blue in Hebrew was not used until years after the Bible was written. The references in this post use the word Tekelet which is argued to be blue.

A good part of Revelation revisits Old Testament themes, topics, and symbolisms, indicating that the past informs us of the present and the future. 

We, as Christians, often overlook the description of the harlot of Babylon and what she is and isn’t wearing.

In contrast to the pattern and the golden utensils for the tent of meeting and the Jerusalem temple, which featured blue, scarlet, and purple, the harlot only possesses scarlet and purple with a single golden cup. 

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.


Revelation 17:4 (ESV)

Why does she not wear or carry anything blue? Because blue is the color of God,  His moral law, and represents the truth. 

This symbolism refers to the sky, representing the heavenly covenant between God and all creation.

Blue is signified the heavenly love of truth, and by garments of blue, the knowledge of truth from this love.

Of fine embroidered linen from Egypt
    was your sail,
    serving as your banner;
blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah
    was your awning.

Ezekiel 27:7 (ESV)

In your market these traded with you in choice garments, in clothes of blue and embroidered work, and in carpets of colored material, bound with cords and made secure.

Ezekiel 27:24 (ESV)

Click the image below for a free downloadable printable with scripture about the color blue.

Bible Verses About The Color Blue

Use the Bible verses for deeper study, verse mapping or Bible Journaling!

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FREE PDF

Bible verses about the color blue pf

Bible Verses About the Color Blue

In the KJV Bible, the word ‘blue’ occurs at least forty-nine times, all of which are in the Old Testament. Its use in Scripture lends itself to symbolically representing God.

 “and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness..” 

Exodus 24:10 (ESV)

“And the screen for the gate of the court was embroidered with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It was twenty cubits long and five cubits high in its breadth, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 

Exodus 38:18 (ESV)

Then they shall put on it a covering of goatskin and spread on top of that a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles. And over the table of the bread of the Presence, they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes for incense, the bowls, and the flagons for the drink offering; the regular showbread also shall be on it. 
Then they shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet and cover the same with a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover the lampstand for the light, with its lamps, its tongs, its trays, and all the vessels for oil with which it is supplied. And they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of goatskin and put it on the carrying frame. 
And over the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue and cover it with a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. And they shall take all the vessels of the service that are used in the sanctuary and put them in a cloth of blue and cover them with a covering of goatskin and put them on the carrying frame.” 

Numbers 4:6-12 (ESV)

 “So now send me a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.”

2 Chronicles 2:7 (ESV)

It has also been used to denote or represent royalty. What they wore and how their homes were adorned:

“There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones.”

Esther 1:6 (ESV)

clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses.”

Ezekiel 23:6 (ESV)

The color blue in the Bible has also been used in the connotation of riches (I mean, who but the rich could adorn their sails and banners with delicate embroidery? 🙂 )

“Of fine embroidered linen from Egypt
    was your sail,
    serving as your banner;
blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah
    was your awning.” 

Ezekiel 27:7 (ESV)

“In your market these traded with you in choice garments, in clothes of blue and embroidered work, and in carpets of colored material, bound with cords and made secure.” 

Ezekiel 27:24  (ESV)

The color blue, according to many Bible scholars, represents Heaven. Blue is the color of the sky and a reminder of the heavenly realm. We are given a glimpse of Heaven when we read the description of what Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (the sons of Moses) and the 70 elders of Israel saw when they went up to Mount Sinai to worship God.

The Bible explains that they not only saw God but that under His feet was a pavement made of Sapphires.

“and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” 

Exodus 24:10 (ESV)

Other Meanings of the Color Blue in the Bible

Blue is also associated with physical punishment (most precisely ‘blueness’ caused by bruising), which cleanses the evil as well as brings an inner sense of sin, as mentioned in the following verse:

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

Proverbs 20:30, KJV

Scholars have also described the color blue in the Bible as denoting the Holy Spirit and truth or service to God and godly living. Lighter shades of blue in the bible may also represent the Virgin Mary.

A bit on the use of dyeing with the color blue

Several Biblical commentaries state that the liquid from which blue dye originated came from a shellfish native to the Mediterranean Sea. Others believe that the colors come from the rind of pomegranates. 

Using it for dyeing entailed soaking clothes in dye vats and letting them dry. This process was repeated several times until arriving at the desired color. The final step was soaking the cloth in a solution that rendered the fabric colorfast.

Other Variations or Shades of Blue in the Bible

Sapphire:

Sapphires, one of the many gemstones mentioned in the Bible, are found nine times in God’s word. This gorgeous gem is a beautiful sky blue color reminding us of not only the sky but also heaven.

image of raw, uncut sapphires for the post The Color Blue in the Bible: Its Intriguing Significance

Blue also represents the law, commandments, grace, revelation, and the Holy Spirit.

Sapphires are also found on the ‘breastplate of judgment’ sometimes worn by the High Priest (Exodus 28:18). This blue gem was one of several that God personally placed as ornamentation on Lucifer when he created him (Ezekiel 28:13). This stone, according to Revelation 21:19, will be used to decorate one of the twelve foundations God will create for the New Jerusalem.

The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

Revelation 21:19 (ESV)

Turquoise:

Represents the river of God, sanctification, the New Jerusalem, and God’s healing.

I find Bible symbolism fascinating, and as a creative person, I enjoy using colors in everything from what I wear to how I decorate my own. My favorite color is turquoise, and, after studying the color blue in the Bible, each time I wear a blue shirt, I’ll remember the significance and feel closer to our Heavenly Father.

You may enjoy this video sermon about blue in the Bible.

Did you learn something new about color in the Bible in this post? I’d love it if you’d share that with me.

Although there aren’t many good resources for color symbolism in the Bible, the below is an excellent general resource on Bible symbolism and does have a section on color symbolism.

The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance by Neil Wilson , Nancy Ryken Taylor 

Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism by Stanislaw Kapuscinski 

Because He Lives,

Sue

ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

NKJV – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Allister

Sunday 20th of November 2022

Thank you for explaining the perfect pure color of blue . God shows me this color often in my apartment and one time in pitch black on the side of the road as I was driving . It is of pure blue , so beautiful to look at. It's not even close to the pictures that are posted on the internet

Mercedes Walshe

Monday 24th of October 2022

I had a dream that I was wearing a white dress with beautiful blue decorations and also some decorations around my neck that were meant to keep my face up and my body in an elegant position and in my dream this dress represented “Royalty” and I was happy for what I was given from God walking around with my head up and my body elegantly standing. I woke up and wanted to find out what the blue color meant in the Bible. Nice explanation.

Kari

Saturday 24th of September 2022

I dreamed of a blue tiger. Just out of no where. Very vivid. Thank you for your explainations. I may understand now.

Susan Nelson

Saturday 24th of September 2022

God's timing is amazing, isn't it? I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. God bless you and have a wonderful day!

Connie Rowland

Wednesday 7th of September 2022

Hi Sue. Blue has always been my favorite color, so I loved reading the significance of it in the Bible. So many wonderful scriptures to ponder today! :)

Susan Nelson

Saturday 10th of September 2022

I'm so glad that it blessed you. Thank you for stopping by and have a blessed day!

Maribeth Ditmars

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

I came across this article in my research for a blog I am writing. I write often of finding hope after child loss, and I interviewed a grieving mom who found great comfort in blue candles. This led me to your post. I am also an artist who loves color, so I found this topic intriguing. Thank you for reminding me that the beautiful colors of this world are just a preview of coming attractions.

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have had two miscarriages and the pain is real, raw and deep. I am lifting you in prayer. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

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