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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 on the meaning of colors in the Bible, you can find them here: The color Red, the color green, the color white, the color black, and the color blue). (For an overview of colors in the Bible, see this post).
The Bible is rich in symbolic meaning, 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 God’s Word.
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. It is, of course, one of the primary colors.
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 gold 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 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 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 metal.
Jesus told the “lukewarm” church of Laodicea:
And, of course, Peter wrote:
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
Download the list of Bible Verses About Yellow for further study, verse mapping, or memorization.
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.
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).
Grab the 36-page eBook The Significance of Colors in the Bible here for deeper study.
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). Both indicate a defiling skin disease.
Definition: gleaming, yellow
Original Word: צָהֹב
In Greek translations, we find at least three words that translate to yellow:
Definition: a chrysolite (a yellow gem)
Original Word: χρυσόλιθος, ου, ὁ
Definition: a chrysoprase (a greenish-yellow gem)
Original Word: χρυσόπρασος, ου, ὁ
Definition: orichalcum, or frankincense of a yellow bright color
Original Word: χαλκολίβανον, ου, τό
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 that illustrate this:
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 Bible is full of mentions about honey. It was likely sourced wild and then domesticated in ancient times. Honey 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!
Honey, a naturally sweet substance provides delight to the one who eats it. We see this in Psalm 19:10
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 biblical 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 the disease, and determining whether they were unclean
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.
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 book of Revelation also contains one mention indirect mention yellow in the Bible.
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:
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 that 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!
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
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 with 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,