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Colours in the Bible

.....and their meaning...

White

 
The colour white in scripture is translated from the Hebrew words 'laben' or 'chivvah'meaning white. 
'buwts' meaning white linen,
byssus, a costly, fine white linen cloth made in Egypt.
'chuwr' meaning white cloth.
'tsach' meaning white, dazzling, glowing, clear, bright.
'choriy' meaning white (bread or cake), for example:

"When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh" Gen 40:16

'sheleg' meaning white like snow, for example "Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever." And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow." 2Kings 5:27

The Greek words are 'leukos' meaning white, light, bright, brilliant from whiteness. 'leukaino' meaning to make white or to whiten.

"And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Rev 7:14
"His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them." Mark 9:3
 

Further information

 

Israel were fed by God during their journey through the desert after being brought out of Egypt. This food was called 'Manna':

"And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey." Exodus 16:31

This white substance represented a deep spiritual lesson that "man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." Deuteronomy 8:3

The whiteness of milk is associated with the basic principles and teachings of God's Word.

"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able" 1Corinthians 3:1-2

Only after learning the basic principles of scripture can the disciple of Christ move on to understand the deeper principles and spiritual lessons of God's Word.

Related Symbols: Purity and refining

White in scripture is connected with purity and righteousness. In Roman times the giving of white stone symbolised acquittal from crime and innocence. Thus those who overcome sin are purified and cleansed through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Jesus returns they will be clothed in white fine linen symbolising righteousness. (Linen: This word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus))

  "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."" Revelation 2:17

"And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." Rev 19:8 (see also v14)
 

  See also: Psalm 51:7; Daniel 7:9; 11:5; Mark 9:3; Acts 1:10; Revelation 3:4-5; 4:4; 6:11

Related Symbols: Overcoming

The rider on the white horse is symbolic of the Lord Jesus Christ who will overcome all that is evil and set up the Kingdom of God upon earth. Thus a white horse symbolises victory.   "And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer." Revelation 6:2
  "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.... ..And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses." Revelation 19:11&14

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