Why Three Different Hebrew Words for the Color Red?

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Hi C____,

There are three different words for the color red in this verse of scripture:

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Here are Strong’s numbers for those words:

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet,H8144 they shall be as white as snow; though they be red H119 like crimson, H8438 they shall be as wool.

Here are Strong’s definitions of all three words:
H8144
sha ni y
shaw- nee’
Of uncertain derivation; crimson, properly the insect or its color, also stuff dyed with it: – crimson, scarlet (thread).
H119
‘a dam
aw- dam’
To show blood (in the face), that is, flush or turn rosy: – be (dyed, made) red (ruddy).
H8438
         
to la  to le a h  to la ath  to la ath
to- law’, to- lay- aw’, (3,4) to- lah’- ath
From H3216; a maggot (as voracious); specifically (often with ellipsis of H8144) the crimson grub, but used only (in this connection) of the color from it, and cloths dyed therewith: – crimson, scarlet, worm.
Notice that the middle word for red is Adam, that is our sinful flesh. They may indeed be different words, but in this verse, they all refer to the sin that is in our flesh, and that sin will be made white as snow in, of all things, the blood of the Lamb:

Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

It completely counter intuitive, but the scriptures teach that until we acknowledge our culpability, and our own part in shedding the blood of our Savior, we cannot be transformed from sinful red to righteous white.

Luk 11:49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

“This generation” is the generation reading these words. It is you and me. We have all, as Adam, been part of that woman sitting on that scarlet colored beast. because that woman is the fallen church in the first Adam [ red, scarlet or crimson]. Adam, our flesh, is all of these.

Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [ how] to perform that which is good I find not.

If I am missing something about the color scarlet, please let me know.
Your brother in Christ,

Mike

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