As a born-again Christian, I’m always fascinated by the symbolism present in the Bible, and one such symbol is that of brass. My curiosity about the representation of brass started after last Sunday’s service, where the sermon heavily referenced Revelation 1:15. I discovered that many believers are unfamiliar with the symbolism of this metal and often confuse mentions of brass with those of bronze in the Scriptures. So, before we delve deeper into this topic, let’s first ask: what does brass symbolize in the Bible?
In the Bible, brass symbolizes strength and durability as it was used to create objects for worship, as implied in Exodus 27:1-2. Additionally, brass also symbolizes judgment, as it’s associated with the feet of the glorified Christ in Revelation which is often interpreted as a symbol of His righteous judgment. It’s crucial to note brass and bronze are sometimes used interchangeably in English translations of the Bible, but in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, different words are used for these metals.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into this discussion and learn about the meaning and symbolism of brass in the Bible. Also, if you’d like to learn about the purpose of brass in the Tabernacle during biblical times, stick around.
What does the bible say about brass?
The Bible mentions brass severally, particularly in the Old Testament, and its reference is often associated with the construction of religious items and instruments and as a symbol of strength and durability. In Exodus, brass is mentioned numerous times as a material used in the construction of the Tabernacle. In 1 Chronicle 15:19-24, brass is also mentioned as a material used to manufacture instruments such as trumpets and cymbals that were used in worship and praise. This indicates that brass was also associated with beauty and artistic expression. Revelation 1:15 also mentions brass saying that the feet of the glorified Christ were like “fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.”
What does brass represent in the bible?
In the Bible, brass sometimes referred to as bronze, represents strength and durability. The use of brass in construction emphasized the importance and strength of the objects it was used to make.
Brass also represents hard-heartedness and stubbornness as implied in Jeremiah 6:28-30, where God tells the people of Israel that they have become “reprobate silver” and “brass.” The use of the term “brass” here implies that the people have become unyielding and unresponsive to God’s message of repentance. Similarly, in Ezekiel 22:18-22, God rebukes the people of Israel for their sins and describes them as being like “the dross of silver” and “the brass, the tin, and the iron.” The use of the term “brass” here suggests that the people have become stubborn, refusing to turn away from their sinful ways. These verses serve as a warning to us to remain humble and open to God’s guidance, lest we become hardened in our ways and unresponsive to His voice.
Bible verses about brass
Apart from the verses already discussed, other verses about brass include 1 Kings 7:13-14. This verse describes the use of brass in the construction of the temple built by King Solomon. Also, 2 Kings 25:13-17 talks about brass describing how the Babylonians took all the brass items from the temple in Jerusalem and carried them away as plunder.
Ezekiel 1:7 mentions brass describing the appearance of God’s glory, with a depiction of a throne made of sapphire and a figure on the throne that looks like burnished brass. In Numbers 21:9, the Bible tells of a story of how Moses made a brass serpent and put it on a pole so that anyone who looked at it would be healed from a snake bite.
Judges 16:21 also mentions brass describing how the Philistines captured Samson and put out his eyes, and then bound him with fetters of brass. 1 Chronicles 18:8 talks of how King David captured a great quantity of brass from the cities of Tibhath and Cun, which he later used in the construction of the temple. In Daniel 10:6, Daniel has a vision of a man clothed in linen, whose body was like “beryl,” and whose arms and feet were like “polished brass.”
What was the purpose of brass in the Tabernacle?
The Tabernacle was a portable sanctuary constructed by the Israelites according to God’s instructions, and brass played an important role in its construction. One of the ways brass was used in the Tabernacle was to make the altar of burnt offerings. This altar was made of acacia wood and covered with brass as described in Exodus 27:1-8. Also, the laver or basin where priests washed their hands and feet before entering the Tabernacle symbolizing their spiritual cleansing and preparation for service that’s discussed in Exodus 30:17-21 was made of brass. Additionally, the Tabernacle was held up by pillars of acacia wood that were set in sockets of brass as implied in Exodus 26:37, to provide a sturdy foundation for the Tabernacle and symbolized the strength and stability of God’s dwelling place among his people. Also, as implied in Numbers 16:39-40 and Numbers 31:6, various utensils and instruments used in the Tabernacle, such as the censers and trumpets, were made of brass.
According to Christian scholars, the use of brass in the Tabernacle had both practical and symbolic significance. Brass was a durable and strong metal and it was also a valuable metal that conveyed a sense of beauty and importance. Symbolically, brass represented strength and endurance, as well as judgment and purification, and its use in the Tabernacle was a reminder of God’s holiness and the need for purity and repentance in approaching him.
4 symbolic meanings of brass in the bible
In the Bible, brass is often associated with judgment, particularly in the book of Revelation as mentioned earlier. The use of brass in this context suggests that Jesus is a just judge, who will execute judgment on the earth.
In the Old Testament, brass was used in the construction of the altar of burnt offerings. According to most theologians, the altar was where animal sacrifices were offered to God, and the use of brass in its construction symbolizes the sacrificial nature of worship.
In the Bible, brass is sometimes used symbolically to represent stubbornness or resistance to change and this is often seen in the context of Israel’s disobedience to God and their refusal to follow His commands, as implied in Isaiah 48:4, where God rebukes them for their hard-heartedness, comparing them to “hardened brass.” Similarly, in Jeremiah 6:28-30, God laments that Israel is so stubborn and resistant to change that they are like a “refining pot” made of brass that can’t be cleansed. The image of the uncleanable brass pot is a metaphor for Israel’s hardened hearts and unwillingness to repent.
In Numbers 21:8-9, Moses is instructed to make a serpent out of brass and set it on a pole and when the Israelites looked at the serpent, they were healed of the snake bites that had been afflicting them. According to most Christian scholars, the use of brass in this context symbolizes the divine protection and healing that God provides.
What does Revelation 1:15 mean?
Revelation 1:15 describes a vision of the glorified Jesus, with feet like glowing brass (or bronze according to other Bible translations) in a furnace and a voice like the sound of rushing waters. According to theologians, the description of Jesus with feet like glowing brass likely signifies his strength and steadfastness, and this imagery is likely associated with the metal’s use in the construction of the Tabernacle and Temple. The voice of Jesus, like the sound of rushing waters, emphasizes his power, authority, and divine truth. In this context, most scholars agree that it suggests that Jesus’ voice is commanding and authoritative, capable of directing and leading his followers.
What is the spiritual meaning of brass?
Christian scholars suggest that one of the spiritual interpretations of brass is that it represents purification and cleansing. This interpretation is typically supported by the use of brass to make the cleansing lavers or basins in the Tabernacle that were used for the ritual cleansing of priests and sacrificial offerings, symbolizing the need for spiritual purification and cleansing from sin as well as its use in religious art and Middle Ages churches.
Others also believe that brass spiritually represents wealth and prosperity as it was a valuable metal during biblical times. This interpretation is supported by the use of brass to describe the wealth of the city of Tyre in Ezekiel 27. However, some scholars speculate that this association with wealth and prosperity can also be seen as a warning against materialism and the temptation to put one’s trust in earthly treasures.
What is the prophetic meaning of brass?
According to most theologians, one of the profound prophetic meanings of brass in the Bible is judgment, as implied in Daniel 10:6, where a vision of a man with feet like polished brass is interpreted as a symbol of judgment. Also, some scholars suggest that prophetically, brass may also symbolize endurance. Brass is a durable metal that is resistant to corrosion and tarnishing and this quality is often used as a metaphor for endurance in the Bible.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.