What Does Dust Symbolize in the Bible (Symbolism and Meaning)?

Last week, we attended my grandmother’s burial. Most of us know the Biblical implication that God made man from dust. Our sermon largely concentrated on Genesis 2:7 which states that God created us from dust, and Ecclesiastes 12:7, which reminds us that we shall return to earth from where we came. In the Bible, we see many instances where dust is mentioned. Each of these narratives does imply something. For this reason, many Christians often wonder, what does dust symbolize in the Bible?

In the Bible, dust is mainly used to symbolize how frail humans are. We read several verses constantly reminding us that we are made of dust, and we are to return to dust. For instance, in Psalms 103:13-14, we read that God is compassionate to us since He understands we are fragile, made of dust prone to perishing. Dust is also used in other Biblical contexts. For instance, 1st Samuel 2:8 states that God will save the poor from the dust. Here dust is used to imply a state of lowliness.

This article will teach us what the Bible says about dust, including what it means or symbolizes. We will try to understand why God chose to make man from dust. In addition, we are going to look into different dreams we have about dust and what they mean. Read on to learn these and more.

What Does the Bible Say About Dust?

The Bible states that dust is the material from which God made man. It says He made man’s body from dust and breathed life into it. Genesis 3:19 reminds us that we are dust, and when we die, we shall return to dust. Ecclesiastes 12:7 also describes how our bodies will return to dust and our spirits to God when we die. We can also see the same mentioned in Job 34:15, where it reads that our bodies will perish and return to dust.

Bible Verses about Dust

There are numerous Bible verses in the Bible where dust is mentioned. In these verses, dust is used in different contexts to give different meanings. Psalms 104:29 illustrates that God made all his creation from dust, and upon death, all creation returns to dust. In Genesis 28:14, Jacob’s dream implies that God appeared to him and spoke words of blessings to him. He promised he would bring forth many children who would spread across nations. In His statement, he compared Jacob’s offspring to the dust of the earth, as an implication of many they would be.

When we read Mark 6:11, we see Jesus advising his disciples before sending them out for ministry. He instructs them ‘shake off the dust on their feet’ when leaving the places where they experienced resistance. He explained that this would be a testimony against those people who failed to receive the good news.

In Genesis 18:27, we see Abraham, a man of faith, acknowledging that he was made of dust and ash. Ecclesiastes 3:20 also states that all creation was made from dust and would finally return to dust.

4 Symbolic Meanings of Dust in the Bible

What Dust Symbolize in the Bible
Symbolic Meanings of Dust in the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

The dust has been used in the Bible occasionally, in different contexts, to mean different things. Below are some of the things symbolized by dust in the Bible;

Frailty of Man

We see different verses in the Bible that imply we are made of dust and shall return to dust. Genesis 3:19 states that man shall eat from his sweat till he returns to the ground, from which he was taken. This knowledge reminds us of how fragile we are. We are constantly reminded to honor our lives and our creator. It implies that we depend on God; without him, we could easily perish on the earth.

Humiliation, Lamentation, and Repent

In Job 2:12, we see his friends coming to see him after a mysterious disease had afflicted him. They sprinkled dust on their heads in lamentation when they saw how much he was suffering. In 1st Samuel 2:8, we read that God raises the poor out of the dust. Dust in this verse is used to demonstrate a state of lowliness and humiliation. In Lamentations 2:10, we read about elders sprinkling dust on their heads and wearing sackcloth in repentance for their sins.

Large Number

In Genesis 13:16, we read about God appearing to Jacob in a dream, where he tells Jacob that his offspring would be like the dust of the earth. This text implies that Jacob will bring forth many children who would fill the earth.

Letting Go and Moving On

When Jesus is sending out His disciples on a mission, in Matthew 10:14, we see Him instructing them to shake off the dust from their feet at the entrance of the homes where the Gospel would be rejected. They were to leave and move to another place where they would be accepted. By shaking the dust off their feet, they separated themselves from the people and would not share in the judgment that may befall them.

Spiritual Meaning of Dust in the Bible

The spiritual interpretation of dust in the Bible is believed to be ‘something which is damned.’ In Matthew 10:14, we see Jesus instructing His disciples to shake the dust off their feet once they visit a place where they were unwelcome. When people didn’t welcome them, the implication was that they have refused the Gospel. Therefore by shaking off the dust from their feet, the disciples implied that these people were damned. In the Bible we also see people putting dust on their heads during repentance, such as in lamentations 2:10. These acts showed that they fully acknowledged their guilt, and perceived themselves as damned.

What Does It Mean When You Dream About Dust?

What Dust Symbolize in the Bible
What Does It Mean When You Dream About Dust? Image source: Pixabay

We often dream about various things, and one of those things could be dust. However, dreams carry different meanings. Here are some of the dreams you could have experienced and what they mean;

Dreams Of Dust Blinding You

You may have had a dream in which you experienced dust whirling around you to the point of blinding your eyes. However much you try, you cannot get the dust off your face and surroundings. Unfortunately, this kind of dream has a negative implications. It is interpreted as a warning of potential problems or trouble in your life. After having this kind of dream, you can expect to experience a certain form of difficulty in your life.

Dreams Of Dazzling Dust

When you keep seeing dazzling dust in your dreams, this is a positive sign that things are looking up for you. It is an implication of positive change that will happen in your life. If you have been waiting for something good to happen, this dream is a sign that it is finally happening for you. It symbolizes prosperity and happiness soon. After such a dream, you can expect new opportunities and exciting experiences to appear.

Dreams Of Cleaning Dust

Dreaming of cleaning a dusty place may be interpreted as a sign that a path of success and prosperity is clearing ahead of you. This is especially true if some obstacles hinder you from succeeding. After having this dream, these obstacles should go away in real life, creating a way for your long-awaited achievement.

Besides, this dream could imply that you long for certain past occurrences. It could mean memories, experiences, or relationships constantly haunt you. If so, keep yourself occupied and work on your mental strength. You should learn to let go of what is in the past to move on and stop having this kind of dream.

Dreams Of a Dust Storm

Dreaming of a dust storm implies that you will soon experience a myriad of conflicts for which you will be required to find solutions. These conflicts are likely to present an element of conflict in them. However, if you believe in yourself, you should manage to find solutions. If you experience this dream, you must sharpen your dispute-solving skills, as one will likely come your way.

Dreams of White Dust

Clean, white dust in your dreams is believed to symbolize that certain positive changes will happen in your life. In the world of dreams, white symbolizes good and pure things. Therefore if you see white dust in your dream, you are likely to experience good things in your life. However, for these things to fully manifest in your life, you must believe that you can live a happy and stable life.

Dreams Of Wind Blowing Dust

This kind of dream might be a warning sign that you will likely face serious issues. In this dream, you may experience strong winds blowing dust toward you and clearing it off. After such a dream, you will probably experience a difficult situation in your life. You will have difficulty solving this one, which will take a toll on you. Be prepared for tough times ahead. Unfortunately, your mind will not find peace until you solve the issue. However, you can retain the hope that no matter how hard the situation might get, you will eventually find a solution.

Dreaming Of Wiping Away Dust in a Church

If you see yourself cleaning off dust from the church floor, it could mean that there are some answers that you seek, and you require guidance. People who have this dream are likely to be experiencing certain frustrations or difficulties in life for which they cannot find solutions. These could be a strained relationship with a spouse or an inability to figure out a life path. Since you are unable to find the solutions on your own, you begin to seek answers outside of yourself. Your situation has now manifested in your dreams. After such a dream, find someone to talk to about your issue. Seek assistance from the church or a therapist. They should guide you into finding a lasting solution to your predicament.

Dreams Of Black Dust

Dreaming of black dust symbolizes that you will experience extreme challenges or difficulties in your life. In dreams, black implies darkness, evil, and negativity. This dream can be seen as a dire warning of a certain doom approaching your life. It could manifest in any aspect of your life, including marriage, work, or general life. Black dust can also symbolize betrayal from someone close to you. Be prepared for something unsettling to happen in your life.

Dreaming of a dusty home

When your home appears dusty in your dreams, it could imply that there will be a conflict between you and your family or close relations. This dream often manifests as the dust slowly accumulating in your home. If there are certain progressive unresolved issues with your family, you are likely to experience this kind of dream. It is a sign that these issues will soon evolve into a conflict. After having this kind of dream, look into your life and identify where the issues are, and try to resolve them before things get out of hand.

Emotions and Dreaming of Dust

The kind of emotions you experience when you dream are key indicators of what the dream you just had implies. The next time you see dust in your dream, remember to identify the kind of emotions you had in the dream. It is possible to experience all sorts of emotions in your dream, including curiosity, happiness, confusion, terror, and even sadness.

Dreaming of Gold Dust

When you see golden dust in your dreams, it implies that you are likely to acquire wealth and prosperity. In the world of dreams, gold is interpreted as a sign of financial wealth. After having such a dream, you could expect amazing changes to happen in your life. The kind of changes that lead you to wealth. You could land your dream job or get married to a rich person.

Why Did God Make Man Out Of The Dust Of The Earth?

God’s creation of man from dust indicates His intended significance for humanity. The Bible implies that He simply spoke the rest of creation into existence; however, when it came to man, He created Him from the earth. Genesis 3:19 illustrates that God created man from the soil and that man would eventually return to the soil. This text also implies that God created man from dust as a constant reminder that he was fragile and fully depended on God for survival.

What Does It Mean That Job Repented in Dust and Ashes?

The action of Job repenting in dust and ashes demonstrated his deep regret and sorrow over his actions. Dust and ashes demonstrated a state of remorse and lowliness. Job 42:6 says that he despised himself for his actions and covered himself in dust and ashes. At this point, he saw lowly of himself, and all he sought was forgiveness. Being in dust and ashes was the best way to demonstrate his humility.

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