An interesting thing to note about the Bible is that the words used are well-measured and often hold more than their surface-level meaning.
One such word is yellow. While I’ve always associated happiness or joy with the color yellow, my knowledge of the Bible (having been dedicated to the church for more than 15 years) and research into the use of symbolism in the Bible reveals that the yellow means more than a brightness or happiness.
But what does yellow symbolize in the Bible?
Yellow is believed to represent the fulfillment of prophecies. Recorded in the King James Version, yellow is believed to represent the gloriousness of ancient Israel as the Israelites entered the Promised Land. In the Bible, yellow was one of the colors used to diagnose illnesses like leprosy, and hair turning yellow was used to determine if someone would be quarantined or not – Leviticus 13:29-30. Yellow was also a symbol of God’s woes that would befall humankind at the end time, during what was referred to as the Great Tribulation – Implied in Revelation 9:13-21.
In this post, I’ll share more about the biblical and spiritual significance of yellow in the Bible. So, keep reading to learn more about this color.
What is the symbolic meaning of the color yellow
Yellow is considered a symbol of eternity or something indestructible, a belief dating back to ancient Egypt, where yellow was primarily associated with gold.
The ancient Egyptians would use the color yellow extensively on their skin and tomb paintings because they associated gold or the color yellow with being indestructible.
Over the years, the meaning attached to the color yellow has changed significantly, and some people associate it with betrayal.
This belief comes from the fact that pictures depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and paintings of Christ and His disciples have Judas Iscariot in yellow.
This is believed to be why yellow is associated with greed, envy, jealousy, and betrayal.
Wisdom and Happiness
Yellow has long been associated with joy and happiness, and the ancient Chinese also believed that this color represented wisdom. The ancient Japanese held the color yellow in high regard, and the first Chinese Emperor was referred to as the Yellow Emperor.
All subsequent emperors were deemed children of heaven. As a result of these beliefs, only the Chinese emperors were allowed to wear yellow in the ancient world.
Also, they had a yellow carpet rather than the expected red carpet.
Yellow is also associated with having optimistic energy and also pleasure. This could be the case because yellow is a color that instantly attracts attention and is very visible.
The brightness of this color is why most countries use yellow for emergency services and warning signs.
What Is The Biblical Meaning Of The Color Yellow?
Thanks to the use of the colors yellow and gold interchangeably, yellow has rich interpretations. In most cases, however, this color represents the Glory of God and faith. It is also considered a symbol of joy and God’s anointing.
God’s Love and Glory
God is a precious metal that is quite valuable and highly sought after. It is believed that because of its yellow hue, gold, just like yellow represents God’s love and divine connection.
Its preciousness and value are compared to Jesus’s son, who was loved dearly by God, His Father.
John 3:16 notes, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It’s also believed that the word yellow is derived from two Hebrew words that mean Strong Concordance and that yellow is used to describe how glorious ancient Israel and the ancient Israelites were when they the Promised Land.
It’s implied in Psalm 68:13 that the men lying among the sheep will have wings of doves shimmering in gold (yellow) covering them. The bible says, “Though you men lie among the sheepfolds—the wings of a dove covered with silver, its pinions with shimmering gold.”
This is believed to represent God’s protection and care.
Signs of sickness and the unclean
Yellow appears in Leviticus 13:30, 13:32, and 13:36. These verses suggest that yellow was one of the prominent signs used to determine if sick individuals had leprosy and needed to be quarantined.
It’s implied that the priests would pronounce individuals with yellowish hair as unclean because the yellowing of hair was often a sign of illness.
When accompanied by scale, it meant that the individual was suffering from leprosy.
Judgment or End of the Times
Yellow is also believed to be one of the colors that represent the end times, precisely, the color of brimstone, which refers to the color of sulfur that’s yellow.
This is alluded to in Revelation 9:17, which implies that the vision of the end times includes a huge fire that never goes out and is yellow because the fire was made from burning brimstone and hyacinth.
Revelation 9 is believed to also give an in-depth discussion of what’s to be expected from the woes at the Great Tribulation of the End Times.
The Second Woe is alluded to in Revelation 9:13-21, and it suggests that there exists a huge army that would kill as many as a third of all human beings.
The army would be wearing breastplates that look like fire, hyacinth, and brimstone(yellow) – brimstone is sulfur.
It’s worth noting that brimstone is also alluded to in Genesis 19, where it’s suggested that fire and brimstone would rain down to earth from heaven, destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.
Yellow could also be regarded as a sign of celebration or worship. This meaning is believed to stem from the fact that the frankincense is yellowish, and this scented essential oil is one of the gifts of the Parthian Magi that young Jesus received from the Three Wise Men. The yellow-hued oil was given as a gift to worship Jesus Christ at the time of His birth.
Jeremiah 6:20 states, “What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.”
Isaiah 60:6 reads, “A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.”
A Foundation for the New Jerusalem
Revelation 21:19 implies that one of the foundations created by God in the New Jerusalem would shine a yellow light. It’s suggested that there would be 12 foundations shining different lights from different precious stones.
The seventh foundation would have the color of the Chrysolite gemstone in it, and it would radiate yellow. Chrysolite is a Greek-derived word whose root name is translated into a yellow or golden gemstone.
What is the Hebrew meaning of yellow?
Yellow is derived from the Hebrew word saw-obe, which is mentioned in H6668 and represents the golden color, which means yellow. This use of yellow appears in Leviticus 13:30,32,36, and it’s used to represent sickness.
Yellow or yellowing of hair was considered one of the symptoms of leprosy, and it’s what the priests looked out for when trying to determine if an ill individual required quarantining.
They also looked for scaliness on the skin, but the yellowing of the hair was a prominent symptom that was hard to miss.
In the mention of yellow in Psalm 68:13, the golden color or the yellowness in the feathers of the dove is yer-ak-rak in Hebrew, which translates to yellowness or, more specifically, a greenish-yellow.
Here, yerakrak was used to represent the golden yellow color.
It is worth noting that tzahov (rather than yerakrak) was a more prominent word for yellow used in the post-exilic period.
The prophetic meaning of the color yellow
Judgment Day and End Times
It’s implied in Revelation 9 that the end times would feature three woes, and the second out of the three woes would have a huge army unleashed to kill as many as a third of the entire human population.
It’s implied that this army would wear armor or breastplates painted to look like fire in the colors red, blue (hyacinth), and brimstone (yellow). This prophesy is believed to represent the fact that the end times would be filled with a great deal of suffering.
The color yellow appears in the use of brimstone, a Greek word translation for sulfur or a sulfurous compound, also represented by the color yellow.
The other prophetic meaning associated with yellow is implied in Genesis 19, where it’s believed that yellow represented the fact that God would rain down fire and brimstone in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Brimstone or sulfur is believed to represent the prophecy that the destruction of the earth would be in the form of sulfur and fire-burning sinners at the end of time.
Yellow is believed to represent fire because the chemical combustion that creates heat and light uses fire, which is yellow.
Fire is particularly prevalent in the Old Testament, where it was an important part of the sacrifices made by the Israelites and others.
1 Kings 18:38 says, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”
Bible verses about the color yellow
Leviticus 13:30 – “The priest shall examine the disease. And if it appears deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is an itch, a leprous disease of the head or the beard.”
Leviticus 13:32 – “And on the seventh day the priest shall examine the disease. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin,”
Leviticus 13:36 – “Then the priest shall examine him, and if the itch has spread in the skin, the priest need not seek for the yellow hair; he is unclean.”
These verses suggest that the priests would diagnose individuals with leprosy after they noticed the yellowing of their hair.
Psalm 68:13 – “Though you men lie among the sheepfolds—the wings of a dove covered with silver, its pinions with shimmering gold.”
This verse suggests that the wings of doves were sheathed with feathers in shining gold color.
Revelation 21:19 – “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.”
This verse suggests that the New Jerusalem created by God would have 12 foundations and that the 7th foundation was gold-hued since it was made with the yellow-colored Chrysolite gemstone.
Isaiah 60:6 – “A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.”
In this verse, it’s suggested that Frankincense that was given to baby Jesus by the three wise men was yellow-colored.
Revelation 9:17 – “And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.”
This verse suggests that the armor worn by the army riding horses as they attacked and killed people during the Second Woe on the judgment day were wearing yellow-colored (brimstone) armor.
How is the color yellow used in the Bible?
In the Bible, the color yellow is used to describe brimstone, a yellow-colored substance known to contain sulfur, and is believed to be used to punish wrongdoers at the end of times.
It’s also used symbolically where yellow-colored items are mentioned in the Bible, for example, Frankincense, honey, fire, and different oils.
What is the significance of yellow in the Bible?
In Hebrews 12:19, it’s suggested that God would use the all-consuming fire to purify His people. Fire, synonymous with the color yellow, was alluded to in the burning bush that appeared to Moses.
In the New Testament, it’s implied that the Holy Spirit uses fire to purify the souls of the believers – here, it’s referred to as the Holy Fire, believed to bring forth cleansing and purification.
The importance of fire in purification is further alluded to in Proverbs 17:3, which implies that the Lord tests and purifies the hearts of believers in the same way that the furnace refines gold: “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for old, and the Lord tests hearts.”
Presence of God/ Anointing Oil
According to 1 Samuel 16:13, Exodus 30:22-25, and Psalm 92:10, yellow is believed to represent the presence of God and anointing oil. These verses imply the use of yellow-colored oils like olive oil, all used during the sacred anointing of believers.
Judgment and Fire
Yellow is also deemed as a symbol of God’s judgment, as is implied in Hebrews 12:29, Zechariah 13:9, and 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.
These verses mention fire as a sign of God’s punishment for the people that don’t believe in Him. Fire is also regarded as one of the tests used to test people’s faith.
4 symbolic meanings of the color yellow in the Bible
Sickness and Leprosy
Leviticus 13:30 suggests that yellow is regarded as a symbol of illness: “The priest shall examine the disease. And if it appears deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is an itch, a leprous disease of the head or the beard.”
Specifically, it was associated with leprosy and sickness.
It is implied in this verse that the individuals who suffered from leprosy would develop yellow hairs, and this is one of the symptoms that the priests looked out for in patients, as it allowed them to determine which patients needed to be quarantined and the ones that didn’t have to be quarantined or rather, weren’t sick.
Yellow is also believed to symbolize honey, which represents blessings, promises, and delight. This is implied in multiple passages:
Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
Ezekiel 3:3, “And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.”
Exodus 3:8, “And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.”
Psalm 81:16, “But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
The reason for this is especially because Honey is a yellow or gold-hued product. It is also regarded as a symbol of luxury and is also believed to be a type of medicine.
The Promised Land was regarded as a land of milk and honey, and honey could be a sign of God’s promises, blessings, and prosperity.
This yellow-hued liquid is known for its sweetness, and it’s believed that it symbolizes the Lord’s delight – it’s implied in Psalm 19:10 that believing in God could be sweeter than honey: “But you have exalted my thorn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil.”
So, yellow is often associated with God’s sweetness and delight.
God’s Presence and Glory
Daniel 10 and Ezekiel 8:2 imply that yellow signifies God’s glory and His presence. These bible scriptures mention gold points to God’s mighty presence.
There’s also mention of fire, whose yellow color and gleaming brightness could represent God’s presence.
Yellow is also regarded as a sign of God’s judgment with the mention of fire and brimstone during the Second Woe in Revelation 9:13-21, which imply that the armies that will kill mankind will be wearing brimstone armor.
What is the spiritual meaning of yellow?
Sun (Joy, Mental Positivity, and Light)
The color yellow is regarded as a symbol of the sun, and because of the sun’s warmth, yellow is regarded as an embodiment of light, joy, and mental positivity.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Yellow is considered an embodiment of the solar plexus chakra, which is associated with an individual’s power and will. Yellow could also be associated with the logical mind because of its association with the solar plexus.
Pleasure and abundance
Because yellow is similar to gold and honey in color, it’s believed that yellow is a symbol of abundance and pleasure. This is also because the Promised Land was considered the land of milk and honey; in this regard, honey and the color yellow symbolize abundance and pleasure.
Yellow is also believed to be a symbol of grounding, communication, and self-confidence. This is also the case because of its association with the solar plexus, representing clarity and intellect.
Overall, yellow is also associated with adaptability, spontaneity, idealism, communication, wisdom, creativity, and youthfulness.
On the contrary, yellow could also represent cowardice, anxiety, frustration, illness, physical hazards, jealousy, and betrayal.
Biblical meaning of the color yellow in dreams
Seeing yellow in dreams is considered a symbol of amplified feelings and thoughts. It could also be a sign of positivity because the color yellow represents what happens in the subconscious. In most people, seeing yellow in dreams symbolizes contentment and positivity.
Also, if you keep seeing the color yellow, it could mean that the other thing you see in your dreams alongside yellow is the thing you’re manifesting.
Biblical meaning of yellow flowers
Yellow flowers are often associated with friendship, happiness, joy, and positive energy. The yellow flowers are also associated with divine blessings.
It’s also associated with God’s presence, purification, and refining processes, so seeing yellow flowers could represent joy, God’s anointing, and the presence of God.
Biblical meaning of yellow ribbon
A yellow ribbon could be a symbol of God’s love and presence, but also a sign of illness like leprosy. It is also considered a symbol of abundance and blessings.
On the other hand, a yellow ribbon could be a sign of God’s judgment and illness and also a sign of uncleanliness.
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.