How many times is darkness mentioned in the Bible? (What Does the Bible Say About Darkness, Examples of darkness in the Bible + bible verses about darkness)

During last Sunday’s service, I delivered a thought-provoking sermon about the darkness in the Bible and how we must be in the light. I linked the dimly lit sanctuary to the spiritual darkness surrounding those who don’t seek the light of God’s love and truth. I emphasized that while darkness can be a scary and uncomfortable place, it is through encountering and overcoming it that we grow stronger in our faith and become more like Christ. Today I seek to explore more about the darkness in the Bible. So, how many times is darkness mentioned in the Bible?

In the Bible, the word darkness appears about 170 depending on the translation. It usually represents evil, sin, and spiritual ignorance and is frequently contrasted with light, symbolizing righteousness and truth.

In this article, I will dig deep into the biblical teachings of darkness and the concept of the power of darkness. Read on to learn more.

What Does the Bible Say About Darkness?

The Bible has much to say about darkness.

In the Old Testament, darkness represents chaos, judgment, and the power of evil, but God can overcome it and bring light to his people.

For example, Genesis 1:2 states that the earth was filled with darkness before God created light and separated it from the darkness.

Exodus 10:21 speaks of one of the plagues God sent on Egypt to demonstrate his power and bring judgment to the nation.

Psalms 23:4 also suggests that God protects his people, even in times of darkness and danger.

On the other hand, In the New Testament, darkness represents spiritual blindness and separation from God. For example, Luke 1:79 speaks of the mission of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ to bring light to those who are lost in darkness and guide them to the path of peace.

Nevertheless, the prophet Isaiah suggests the coming of Jesus Christ as a light to the world. (Matthew 4:16)

In Acts 26:18, the apostle Paul’s mission was to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and turn them from darkness to light.

Examples of darkness in the Bible

How many times is darkness mentioned in the Bible?
Darkness in the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

Genesis 1:2-3

This verse points out the darkness that covered the face of the earth before God created light.

Exodus 10:21-23

This verse speaks of the plague of darkness that covered Egypt for three days as part of God’s judgment.

Matthew 27:45

This verse highlights the darkness that filled the temple when Jesus died on the cross.

Ephesians 5:11

This verse illustrates the kind of darkness that we should rebuke.

John 12:35-36

This passage speaks of the darkness Jesus spoke of when he warned about the dangers of stumbling in spiritual darkness.

Jonah 3:5-10

This verse demonstrates the spiritual darkness that the people of Nineveh felt as they repented and turned to God.

Acts 9:3-9

This verse mentions the darkness that blinded Paul before his conversion on the road to Damascus.

John 9:4

This verse points out the darkness associated with the night, which Jesus said is a time when no one can work.

Psalm 18:11-12

This verse illustrates the darkness that David experienced when he felt abandoned by God and surrounded by his enemies.

Proverbs 2:13

This verse describes darkness that is associated with sin and evil.

What are the different types of darkness in the Bible?

Spiritual darkness: refers to a state of sin or ignorance where a person is separated from God and his truth. Isaiah 9:2 suggests that the ones who have been liberated from spiritual darkness and are now walking in the light of God’s life are those who learn about the God of Israel through His Son, Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, in John 8:12, Jesus speaks to the people proclaiming that he is the world’s light and those who follow him will never walk in darkness.

Physical darkness: refers to the absence of light. Genesis 1:2 states that the earth was shapeless and empty, with darkness covering the surface of the deep waters. Exodus 10:22 implies that God sent a plague of darkness upon Egypt and physical darkness.

Judgmental darkness: refers to punishment or judgment from God, where a person or a place is plunged into darkness. Joel 2:2 states that a day of clouds and thick darkness will come like blackness spread upon the mountains. Matthew 25:30 also suggests that the worthless servant will be thrown into the outer darkness.

What does Jesus say about darkness?

What Does the Bible Say About Darkness?
What does Jesus say about darkness? Image source: Pinterest

Jesus refers to himself as the light that overcomes the darkness in John 8:12, which is undoubtedly the goodness and hope that our faith requires.

Jesus acknowledges the existence of spiritual darkness and evil in the world in John 3:19-20 and warns against allowing darkness into our lives. John 12:35.

Jesus also speaks of the consequences of choosing darkness over light. In Matthew 8:12, he says that kingdom subjects will be cast outside into the night, where there will be crying and gnashing of teeth.

Lastly, according to Luke 4:18-19, Jesus likely promises to bring light and hope to those in darkness.

What is the power of darkness?

The power of darkness is mentioned several times in the Bible and describes the forces of evil that oppose God and seek to harm his people.

For example, Colossians 1:13 suggests that the power of darkness has dominion or control over those outside God’s kingdom.

Ephesians 6:12 implies that the power of darkness comprises spiritual forces of evil actively working against God’s people.

The book of 2 Corinthians 4:4 also suggests that the power of darkness can blind people to the gospel’s truth and prevent them from coming to faith in Jesus.

Luke 22:53 describes times when the power of darkness seems especially strong or prevalent. However, the Bible also implies that God is ultimately more powerful than the forces of darkness and that he has the power to overcome them. (John 1:5).

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