The Spiritual Significance Of Colors In Scripture (The Color Black) – Part 2

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The Color Black In The New Testament Is Based Upon What Is Revealed In The Old Testament

Psa 139:12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Exo 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Exo 14:20  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness [ to them], but it gave light by night [ to these]: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

Isa 45:5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Just quoting Psa 139:12  will get one accused of “calling good evil and evil good.” But this verse doesn’t say that ‘light and darkness are alike to me.’ What it does say is “darkness and light are both alike to thee;” to God. If “the night shone as the day” to me, then I could say that light and darkness are alike to me. But such is not the case for mortal man, because mortal man is not God. And so we read:

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

But since “all is of God” evil and good, darkness and light, and sweet and bitter are all “alike to thee.”

1Co 11:12  For as the woman [ is] of the man, even so [ is] the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [ are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom [ be] glory for ever. Amen.

Three Greek Words Translated Black

There are three Greek words translated Black or blackness in the New Testament. They are:

1) G3189
melas
mel’- as
Apparently a primary word; black: – black.

This word is used three times in the New Testament:

Mat 5:33  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black [ G3189 – melas].
Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Third Seal

Rev 6:5  And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black [ G3189- melas] horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Rev 6:6  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Fifth Seal

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black  [ G3189 – melas] as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

2) G1105
gnophos
gnof’- os
Akin to G3509; gloom (as of a storm): – blackness.

Heb 12:18  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness [1105 – gnophos], and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [ voice] they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Heb 12:21  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

This is the only place in the New Testament where this word appears.

3) G2217
zophos
dzof’- os
Akin to the base of G3509; gloom (as shrouding like a cloud): – blackness, darkness, mist.

This Greek word  appears four times in the New Testament. Two times it is translated ‘darkness:’

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness [ G2217- zophos], to be reserved unto judgment;
Jdg 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness [ G2217 – zophos] unto the judgment of the great day.

Once it is translated ‘blackness:’

Jdg 1:13  Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness [ G2217 – zophos] of darkness for ever.

And once it is translated ‘mist:’

2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

But notice that both ‘gnophos’ and ‘zophos’ have G3509 as their root. Here is Strong’s definition of 3509:

G3509
nephos
nef’- os
Apparently a primary word; a cloud: – cloud.

So the root for two Greek words which are both translated as ‘blackness,’ one is also translated ‘darkness,’ is the Greek word translated ‘cloud.’and it appears but one time in the New Testament:

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Clouds Often Appear Black

What did we learn in our last study on this word ‘black’ in the Old Testament? We saw that the words ‘black’ and ‘darkness’ are often used in reference to clouds:

Exo 14:19  And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
Exo 14:20  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

1Ki 18:45  And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
Jer 4:22  For my people is foolish [ Ahab and all of us], they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Jer 4:23  I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Jer 4:28  For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

When God’s own people whom He has brought up out of Egypt come to the point that they do not even know Him, then at that point the “heavens are black” and “the heavens have no light” and the “heavenly things themselves must be purified…”

Heb 9:23  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [ the blood of bulls and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

The orthodox Christian world is always talking about ‘heaven,’ and they aren’t even capable of  “understanding what they say or whereof they affirm.”

1Ti 1:7  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

“The heavens… they have no light” and they are hidden from them by dark clouds. “The heavens above are black” means this:

Mat 6:23  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Mat 4:16  The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Let’s go back to our first listed Greek word for ‘black.’ That word was ‘melas’ G1389. The neuter form of that Greek word is translated as ‘ink’ three times in the New Testament. Twice in the epistles of John where John states that he “has many things to say but would not write with ink.” The other time this word appears is in 2Co 3. The word here is ‘melan’ not ‘melas.’ Let’s look at what we are told of this Greek word ‘melan:’
G3188
melan
mel’- an
Neuter of G3189 as noun; ink: – ink

2Co 3:2  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
2Co 3:3  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2Co 3:4  And such trust have we through Christ to God- ward:
2Co 3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [ is] of God;
2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter[ ink without spirit] killeth , but the spirit giveth life.

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