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Yellow In The Bible – The Significance Of The Color Yellow In Scripture

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Continuing our series on colors in the Bible, today, we will examine yellow in the Bible. (If you’ve missed the previous posts, you can find them here:  Red, yellow, green, white, black, and blue). (For an overview of colors in the Bible, see this post).

The Bible is rich in symbolism, and color is no exception. Yellow is, in my opinion, one of the most significant colors as it is believed to symbolize faith and the Glory of God, anointing, and Joy. Gold and yellow are often associated with or used interchangeably in the Bible.

What few people know is that not only is yellow the most visible color of the What few people know is that not only is yellow the most visible color of the spectrum, its high reflectance of light allows it to act as a secondary light source. It is the first wavelength of light processed by the human eye (which belies its use in certain signage and on some emergency rescue vehicles). Our peripheral vision (the ability to see side or fringe areas when we look straight ahead) is 2 1/2 times higher for it than for red.

image of yellow waves for the post What Does Yellow Symbolize In The Bible - The Significance Of The Color Yellow In Scripture

Significance of Yellow in the Bible

Yellow is the color of glory, which is the glow or shining of something that is releasing energy. There was a glow associated with the Shekinah Glory in the Tabernacle and the Golden Lampstand. The production of good works requires the release of energy. The radiance of light production is represented by yellow. Since human life radiates glory, then yellow is also a color for life. The strength, or capacity, of life, is also represented by yellow.

Yellow and gold are also the color of fire. Fire represents the presence of God (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29) and God’s refining process.

Therefore, yellow represents the joy, the presence of God, and God’s anointing, whereas gold represents God’s holiness, divine nature, and majesty. Gold and or yellow cloth is sometimes used in the place of white to celebrate the holiest days of the year (i.e., Easter and Christmas).

Fire is primarily yellow (and orange) in color and gold is the most precious of metal.

Jesus  told the “lukewarm” church of Laodicea:

 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

  Revelation 3:18  (ESV)

And, of course, Peter wrote:

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 1:7 (ESV)

We all know, as well, that God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. There are so many references to gold or yellow in the Bible, but I want to point out just a few of the ones I feel are most relevant.

Grab your free PDF of Bible verses about yellow to use for deeper study, verse mapping, memorization, and more

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT YELLOW - FREE PDF

Download the list of Bible Verses About Yellow for further study, verse mapping or memorization.

Bible verses about yellow

Gold is a precious metal valued for its beauty and workability. The temple was arrayed in gold, so it is no surprise that the New Jerusalem is described as being made of gold (Revelation 21:18, Revelation 21:21).

The symbolism of yellow in the Bible is also referred to in I Peter 1:7.

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:7 (ESV)

Here scripture talks about gold as a symbol of trials and purging. The trial of faith will be more precious than gold and fire can’t destroy it. Yellow is associated with fire, which has always been seen as a means to purify.

Yellow is referenced in the Bible by the Hebrew word charuts, which refers to the precious metal gold. Gold represents the sovereignty of God. In the Old Testament, Solomon had the Temple built and overlaid in gold, even down to the priest’s utensils (1 Kings 6). At Jesus’ birth, one of the gifts He received was gold (Matthew 2:11).

The Ultimate Guide to the Symbolism of Colors in the Bible

In the KJV Bible, at least two Hebrew words translate to our English word ‘yellow’:

Yellow is represented by two Hebrew words: charuts, referring to gold alloyed with silver or of sick skin (Psalm 68:13); and tsahob, referring to the color of hair or a patch of skin indicating leprosy (Leviticus 13:30).

tsahob

Definition: gleaming, yellow
Original Word: צָהֹב

In Greek translations, we find at least three words that translate to yellow:

chrusolithos

Definition: a chrysolite (a yellow gem)
Original Word: χρυσόλιθος, ου, ὁ

 

chrusoprasos

Definition: a chrysoprase (a greenish-yellow gem)
Original Word: χρυσόπρασος, ου, ὁ

 

chalkolibanon/chalcolibanus 

Definition: orichalcum, or frankincense of a yellow color
Original Word: χαλκολίβανον, ου, τό

Its use in the Bible lends itself to symbolically representing gold or something of great value (Psalm 68:13), or something leprous or having leprosy (Leviticus 13:30, 32, 36).

The actual word “yellow” is only found four times in scripture. All in Leviticus; all related to leprosy or to our spiritually dead and dying condition. Think about it, when leaves start to change color in the fall, they turn from green to yellow. It only makes sense that yellow would signify a spiritually dying condition.

So, we know that yellow in the human body is not a sign of strength. Yellow teeth may represent the first stage of decay. Yellow in the body may also represent jaundice and bitterness (Job 16:13; Acts 8:23)

But variations of the word yellow, sometimes with the connotation of gold are found throughout. Here are a few verses which illustrate this:

The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

Genesis 2:11 (ESV)

Out of the north comes golden splendor;

    God is clothed with awesome majesty.

Job 37:22 (ESV)

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.

Genesis 13:2 (ESV)

All of the above verses use the word “zahab”, which is a variation of gold/yellow in the Bible in the Hebrew text.

But fire also represents God’s judgment and anger. Deuteronomy 4:24 says that God is a jealous and consuming fire. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed by fire and the lake of fire being reserved for the devil also points to God’s anger and judgment.

Another mention of something yellow in the Bible is olive oil. It is naturally yellow and was used in the making of anointing oil. In turn, this makes yellow symbolic of anointing, God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, and more.

 The Lord said to Moses, “Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, and 500 of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 

Exodus 30:22-25 (ESV)

The Bible is full of mentions about honey. It was likely sourced wild and then domesticated in ancient times.  Honey was was considered a luxury and even used for medicinal purposes. God was not just referring to the sweetness of honey when He spoke about a land flowing with milk and honey. The imagery is much more than that—it represents His promises, prosperity or blessing in an eschatological sense for those who believe on Him!

Gracious words are like a honeycomb,

    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)

Honey, a naturally sweet substance provides delight to the one who eats it. We see this in Psalm 19:10.

More to be desired are they than gold,

    even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey

    and drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalm 19:10 ESV)

In Christianity, yellow symbolizes both good and bad things. The positive is in relation to gold, while the latter (related to Judas Iscariot – he is portrayed in art wearing yellow) has a more nefarious meaning. The color yellow in the Bible is typically used to describe two things; one thing being gold or something valuable, and the other leprosy, for example.

The regulations given to Moses and Aaron in Leviticus 13 cover diagnosing leprosy.The priest, Aaron in this case, was charged with examining all suspected cases of disease, and determining whether they were unclean.

the priest shall examine the disease. And if it appears deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is an itch, a leprous disease of the head or the beard.

Leviticus 13:30 (ESV)

and on the seventh day the priest shall examine the disease. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin, 

Leviticus 13:32 (ESV)

and on the seventh day the priest shall examine the disease. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin,

Leviticus 13:36 (ESV)

The word “yellow” is often not used at all, but when it does appear in a sentence or passage yellow objects are named instead. Take for example, Frankincense. It is an off-yellow color that is mentioned approximately 25 times in the Bible. 

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 (ESV)

In scripture, there are many mentions of precious jewels. Chrysolite is a yellow gemstone that appears ten times throughout the Bible.

The New Jerusalem, described in Revelation has walls made from jasper and the city itself is made of pure gold. 

The tenth and final mention of chrysolite is in the foundations. There are to be twelve, each one a different gemstone.

“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, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.” 

Revelation 21:19-20 (ESV)

The book of Revelation also contains one mention indirect mention yellow in the Bible. 

And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.

Revelation 9:17 (ESV)
(note: in the NIV version the breastplates were described as “fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur”.

Sulphur,another material naturally yellow in color,  is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, In addition to Revelation, the yellow element is written about in the books of Job, Isaiah and Luke. In each case, sulphur is an indication of destruction, thus giving the color yellow another negative connotation. 

Here’s a quick overview:

Yellow:

When dreaming of the color yellow the bible describes this color as having a spirit of wisdom and the Glory of God.

Amber:

When dreaming of the color amber the bible describes this color as being fire, which represents God’s glory, the brilliance of His presence and His judgments. This dream may also be indicating that the dreamer or someone in the dream is receiving a visitation from the Lord.

Dreams with positive connotations about the color yellow

This color in a dream could represent the fire of God revealing Himself in a more intimate and personal way. The bible also illustrates amber as being the color of fire which consumes or devours but will not burn. (For our God is a consuming fire.)

(Ezekiel 1:4; 1:27-28; 8:2; II Corinthians 4:6, Revelation 21:23; Hebrews 12:29)

Dreams with negative connotations about the color yellow

The color amber could represent God’s fury, judgments and rebukes toward one’s life or ministry because of sinful nature and wicked heart. (To render His anger with fury and His rebukes with flames of fire.)

(Genesis 19:24, II Kings 1:10-14, Isaiah 66:15, II Thessalonians 1:7-8)

You can learn more in this post by Joshua Media Ministries.

Yellow in the Bible, as with most other colors, has deep significance. Did you learn something new today? If so, tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you are looking for more on Bible symbolism, I recommend these great resources, although there’s not a huge section on color in the Bible, they are a great overall resource on Bible 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 Imagery

Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism by Stanislaw Kapuscinski

Have you ever dreamed about the color yellow? Perhaps God is trying to tell you something.Yellow is a happy color that often represents sunshine and happiness. However, it also has some negative associations in the Bible. In this post, we’ve looked at scripture regarding yellow and its positive and negative meanings. We hope this information was helpful for you as you reflect on this beautiful hue. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to download our free PDF with scriptures about yellow!

Because of Him,

Sue

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Connie Rowland

Wednesday 7th of September 2022

Hi Sue. What a wonderful study on the symbolism of yellow! It's so informative and encouraging at the same time. I'm praying for those who have left comments and are looking for the meaning of the color yellow in their dreams. May God reveal His perfect plan for your life today!

Susan Nelson

Saturday 10th of September 2022

I'm so glad that it blessed you. I agree with you in prayer, sister! Thank you for stopping by, and have a blessed day!

Anna Arenas

Friday 26th of August 2022

On August 22, 2022 our Hibiscus plant that usually had orange flowers, bloomed yellow which till today baffled me. So I checked on the date of the pics I took of it, and realized this was on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Coincidence or miracle? Per your article, I'd like to believe it means faith, God's glory, blessing, anointing (and answered prayers). God bless you for all you do for His glory! 🙏

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!

Susana Sihlén

Friday 20th of May 2022

Hello, I asked the Holy Spirit yesterday of where does God wants me to move, and I saw a yellow floor, a floor made of stone and He says abroad. I asked today again where, and I sensed all over my face and the taste the salt water. I do believe that the yellow floor is the anointing and the establishment. God told me in January that I will move to another country but never thought it would be earlier that we hade expected. we only have live here for a year. Thank you so much for your explanation of the colours, may God bless you, In Jesus Name.

Susana S

Susan Nelson

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Hi, Susana! Thank you so much for sharing that. God speaks to us all of the time - if only we stay silent to listen! I'd love to hear where He takes you! Have a beautiful and blessed day.

Ernesto A Gonzalez

Monday 6th of September 2021

I had a dream last week of August 2021, I dreamed I was walking around in a long yellow robe as normal. Outside cleaning around the house. Long yellow robe.

Jill Moore

Monday 31st of May 2021

Prior to my vision or dream that I had I would like to share this. Took a day trip to the beach and got some sun was not burnt but got color. My skin for almost a week has been very itchy my arms and my legs mostly. Sunday, May 30 was at church there was a calling for healing I went down and got prayed for healing of my skin. Monday morning May 31 had a dream or vision. I was standing in front of Jesus who was a brilliant white and I asked him why my skin was still itchy when I had received my healing? Jesus told me I needed to believe and then stretched his hands out toward me and a bright yellow lightCame beaming out of him and towards me and went all around me and it got brighter and brighter and brighter end of dream. I’ve read your post about the color of yellow I was just wondering if you had any other insight onto what my dream or vision might be.

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Hi, Jill - thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, I'm not gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. I would just ask God daily to reveal to you the meaning of it. Pray over it and see if you can find anything in His Word to guide you. Thank you for stopping by! Have a blessed day!

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