Fountain Of Israel

Bible Studies Class

Idioms and Symbols

Ancient Hebrew Idioms
By Wayne Leman
Idiom: noun

  1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics.

2. a language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people.



Verse Idiom Meaning
Gen 4:6 Face fallen sad
Gen 6:8 Found grace in the eyes accepted
Gen 22.17 Seed descendants
Gen 24.60 Possess gates capture cities
Gen 27.41 Said in heart thought to self
Gen 31.35 The way of women menstruation
Gen 40.13 Lift up your head restore to honor
Ex 1.5 Loins ? descendants
Ex 3.8 Flowing with milk and honey fertile
Ex 3.19 Mighty hand force
Ex 13.2 Open the womb be born
Ex 15.25 Sweet water water fit to drink
Ex 32.19 His anger burned very angry
Ex 34.6 Long of anger slow to get angry
Lev. 20.18 Her sickness her period
Lev 22.6 Soul person
Deut 5.6 House of bondage (land of) slavery
Deut 8.14 Heart lifted up proud
Deut 15.7 Close hand selfish
Deut 20.8 Heart melt lose courage
Deut 21.17 Beginning of his strength his firstborn
Deut 23.13 Squat outside defecate
Deut 23.13 What comes from you excrement
Deut 28.28 Heart mind
Josh 10.6 Slack hands abandon
Judges 3.28 Deliver them into your hands defeat them for you
Judges 13.5 From the womb from birth
1 Sam 10.9 gave him another heart changed his attitude
1 Sam 24.3 covered his feet relieved himself
1 Sam 25.22 one who urinates against a wall male
2 Sam 1.12 house nation
2 Sam 18.25 good news is in his mouth he brings good news
1 Ki 2.10 slept died
2 Ki 2.7 sons of the prophets group of prophets
2 Ki 4.29 gird up your loins get ready
2 Ki 19.26 small of hand weak
2 Chr 25.17 look each other in the face meet each other in battle
2 Chr 36.13 stiffened his neck became stubborn
Esther 1.7 Open hand generosity
Esther 1.14 Saw his face had access to him
Esther 2.21 Send a hand against assassinate
Esther 6.10 let fall neglect (3)
Job 1.12 Put hand on harm
Job 20.20 Knew no quiet in their bellies greedy
Job 23.16 Soft heart fearful
Job 31.10 Kneel over have sex with
Job 33.16 Opens the ear informs, reveals
Job 35.8 Son of man other humans
Ps 3.7 Break teeth make powerless
Ps 4.1 Enlarge space set free
Ps 5.9 Their throat is an open grave they speak deceitfully
Ps 6.7 Eye is consumed vision is blurred
Ps 7.3 Iniquity in my hands guilty
Ps 7.9 Hearts and kidneys thoughts and emotions
Ps 10.5 Snorts scoffs
Ps 11.6 the portion of their cup their destiny
Ps 12.2 double heart duplicitous
Ps 17.8 Little man of the eye pupil
Ps 24.4 Clean hands act purely
Ps 25.1 Lift up my soul pray
Ps 27.8 Seek my face seek me
Ps 33.18 Eyes are upon watches over
Ps 41.9 Lifted heel against turned against
Ps 73.9 Tongue struts through the earth arrogantly order everyone
Ps 75.5 Lift horn defy God
Ps 89.13 Right hand might
Ps 89.22 Son of wickedness wicked person
Ps 90.12 Number days use time wisely
Ps 94.9 Planted created
Ps 102.2 Hide your face refuse to answer
Ps 121.1 Lift up eyes look up toward
Ps 124.3 Swallowed alive killed
Pro 17.22 Dries bones drains strength
Pro 22.9 Good eye generous
Pro 23.6 Bad/Evil eye stingy
Pro 18.20 Fruit of the mouth what someone says
Pro 24.20 lamp will go out will die
Song 2.4 His banner over me is love he loves me very much
Song 2.17 Until the day breathes until dawn
Song 4.2 none is bereaved none is missing
Is 9.9 Arrogance of heart arrogant
Is 14.12 Son of the morning morning star
Is 35.10 Joy will crown their heads they will be joyful
Is 52.7 Feet person
Is 57.4 Open mouth wide sneer
Is 60.16 Suck the milk of nations receive the wealth of other countries
Is 61.3 Oil of gladness joy
Jer 4.4 Remove the foreskin of your heart dedicate yourselves fully to God
Jer 4.19 Walls pain
Jer 4.30 Seek your life want to kill you
Jer 5.5 Broken the yoke rejected God’s authority
Jer 6.10 Ears are uncircumcised don’t listen
Jer 7.12 Where I caused my name to dwell where I chose to be worshiped
Jer 9.1 waters spring of water
Jer. 25.15 Wine of wrath my anger
Jer 50.33 Sons of people of
Jer 51.37 Hissing scorn
Lam 1.16 Eyes run down with water eyes flow with tears
Ezek 3.7 Hard forehead stubborn
Ezek 16.25 Spread feet offer self for sex
Ezek 16.26 Big of phallus lustful
Mal 1.11 My name me
Mal 2.12 he who awakens and he who answers


Symbols in the Bible  (


Objects, actions or creatures that have a deeper significance and are so understood by those who see them or use them.

Symbolic objects

The rainbow: a symbol of God’s covenant See also Ge 9:13; Eze 1:28; Rev 4:3

A stairway: a symbol of the way to God Ge 28:11-13; Jn 1:51

Thunder, lightning, cloud and smoke: symbols of God’s majesty Ex 19:16-18; Ex 24:17; Ps 97:2,4; Rev 4:5; Rev 8:5; Rev 11:19

Thunder: a symbol of God’s voice Ps 29:3; Ps 68:33

Trumpets: a symbol of God speaking Ex 19:19; Rev 8:6

The pillar of cloud and fire: a symbol of guidance Ex 13:21

A throne: a symbol of God’s glory Isa 6:1; Eze 1:26; Rev 4:2; Rev 22:3

Dry bones: a symbol of spiritual death Eze 37:1-2,11

White hair: a symbol of wisdom Da 7:9; Rev 1:14

The wind: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Jn 3:8; Ac 2:2

Fire: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Ac 2:3

Stars and lampstands: symbols of God’s ministers Rev 1:20

A signet ring: a symbol of authority Est 8:10; Hag 2:23

Arrows: symbols of God’s judgments Ps 38:2; Ps 120:4

A sceptre: a symbol of God’s rule Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27; Rev 19:15

The capstone: a symbol of pre-eminence Mt 21:42 pp Mk 12:10-11 pp Lk 20:17; Ps 118:22

A rock: a symbol of stability Ps 18:2; Ps 40:2

The human body: a symbol of interdependence 1Co 12:27

Grass: a symbol of human frailty Ps 90:5-6; 1Pe 1:24

Symbolic creatures

The serpent: a symbol of Satan’s subtlety Ge 3:1; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:1-3

Locusts: a symbol of God’s judgment Ex 10:12; Joel 1:4; Rev 9:3

Beasts: symbols of earthly kingdoms Da 7:2-7,17; Da 8:20-22

A dove: a symbol of the Holy Spirit Mt 3:16 pp Mk 1:10 pp Lk 3:22

A lamb: a symbol of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice Rev 5:6

Symbolic actions

Breaking a jar: a symbol of the destruction of Jerusalem Jer 19:10-11

The cursing of a fig-tree: a symbol of judgment Mt 21:18-19 pp Mk 11:12-14

Washing hands: a symbol of innocence Mt 27:24

Being thirsty: a symbol of spiritual need Ps 63:1; Jn 7:37

Baptism: a symbol of salvation in Jesus Christ Ac 22:16; Ro 6:3-4; 1Pe 3:21

The Lord’s Supper: a symbol of union with Christ Mt 26:26-29 pp Mk 14:22-24 pp Lk 22:19-20 pp 1Co 11:23-26

Anointing: a symbol of empowering by God’s Spirit 1Sa 16:13; Lk 4:18; Isa 61:1

Harvesting: a symbol of judgment day Joel 3:12-13; Mt 13:29-30; Rev 14:15

Tearing garments: a symbol of anger and sorrow Ge 37:29,34; Jos 7:6

Spitting: a symbol of contempt Isa 50:6; Mt 26:67 pp Mk 14:65

Shaking off dust: a symbol of rejection Mt 10:14 pp Lk 9:5; Ac 13:51

Sitting in sackcloth and ashes: a symbol of repentance Ps 69:11; Isa 22:12; Jnh 3:5-6; Mt 11:21

Lifting of hands: a symbol of prayer Ps 63:4; 1Ti 2:8

Covering the head: a symbol of submission 1Co 11:3-10

Symbols expressing God’s nature and character

God’s face: a symbol of his presence Nu 6:25-26; Ps 34:16

God’s arm or hand: a symbol of his power Ps 21:8; Ps 89:13

God’s eyes: a symbol of his awareness Pr 15:3; 1Pe 3:12

God’s ear: a symbol of God listening Ps 31:2; Isa 59:1

every single person

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