|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The subject of colours holds an important place in the Scriptures.
White occurs as the translation of various Hebrew words. It is applied to milk (Genesis 49:12), manna (Exodus 16:31), snow (Isaiah 1:18), horses (Zechariah 1:8), raiment (Ecclesiastes 9:8). Another Hebrew word so rendered is applied to marble (Esther 1:6), and a cognate word to the lily (Cant. 2:16). A different term, meaning "dazzling," is applied to the countenance (Cant. 5:10).
This colour was an emblem of purity and innocence (Mark 16:5; John 20:12; Revelation 19:8, 14), of joy (Ecclesiastes 9:8), and also of victory (Zechariah 6:3; Revelation 6:2). The hangings of the tabernacle court (Exodus 27:9; 38:9), the coats, mitres, bonnets, and breeches of the priests (Exodus 39:27, 28), and the dress of the high priest on the day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:4, 32), were white.
Black, applied to the hair (Leviticus 13:31; Cant. 5:11), the complexion (Cant. 1:5), and to horses (Zechariah 6:2, 6). The word rendered "brown" in Genesis 30:32 (R.V., "black") means properly "scorched", i.e., the colour produced by the influence of the sun's rays. "Black" in Job 30:30 means dirty, blackened by sorrow and disease. The word is applied to a mourner's robes (Jeremiah 8:21; 14:2), to a clouded sky (1 Kings 18:45), to night (Micah 3:6; Jeremiah 4:28), and to a brook rendered turbid by melted snow (Job 6:16). It is used as symbolical of evil in Zechariah 6:2, 6 and Revelation 6:5. It was the emblem of mourning, affliction, calamity (Jeremiah 14:2; Lamentations 4:8; 5:10).
Red, applied to blood (2 Kings 3;22), a heifer (Numbers 19:2), pottage of lentils (Genesis 25:30), a horse (Zechariah 1:8), wine (Proverbs 23:31), the complexion (Genesis 25:25; Cant. 5:10). This colour is symbolical of bloodshed (Zechariah 6:2; Revelation 6:4; 12:3).
Purple, a colour obtained from the secretion of a species of shell-fish (the Murex trunculus) which was found in the Mediterranean, and particularly on the coasts of Phoenicia and Asia Minor. The colouring matter in each separate shell-fish amounted to only a single drop, and hence the great value of this dye. Robes of this colour were worn by kings (Judges 8:26) and high officers (Esther 8:15). They were also worn by the wealthy and luxurious (Jeremiah 10:9; Ezek. 27:7; Luke 16:19; Revelation 17:4). With this colour was associated the idea of royalty and majesty (Judges 8:26; Cant. 3:10; 7:5; Dan. 5:7, 16, 29).
Blue. This colour was also procured from a species of shell-fish, the chelzon of the Hebrews, and the Helix ianthina of modern naturalists. The tint was emblematic of the sky, the deep dark hue of the Eastern sky. This colour was used in the same way as purple. The ribbon and fringe of the Hebrew dress were of this colour (Numbers 15:38). The loops of the curtains (Exodus 26:4), the lace of the high priest's breastplate, the robe of the ephod, and the lace on his mitre, were blue (Exodus 28:28, 31, 37).
Scarlet, or Crimson. In Isaiah 1:18 a Hebrew word is used which denotes the worm or grub whence this dye was procured. In Genesis 38:28,30, the word so rendered means "to shine," and expresses the brilliancy of the colour. The small parasitic insects from which this dye was obtained somewhat resembled the cochineal which is found in Eastern countries. It is called by naturalists Coccus ilics. The dye was procured from the female grub alone. The only natural object to which this colour is applied in Scripture is the lips, which are likened to a scarlet thread (Cant. 4:3). Scarlet robes were worn by the rich and luxurious (2 Samuel 1:24; Proverbs 31:21; Jeremiah 4:30. Revelation 17:4). It was also the hue of the warrior's dress (Nahum 2:3; Isaiah 9:5). The Phoenicians excelled in the art of dyeing this colour (2 Chronicles 2:7).
These four colours--white, purple, blue, and scarlet--were used in the textures of the tabernacle curtains (Exodus 26:1, 31, 36), and also in the high priest's ephod, girdle, and breastplate (Exodus 28:5, 6, 8, 15). Scarlet thread is mentioned in connection with the rites of cleansing the leper (Leviticus 14:4, 6, 51) and of burning the red heifer (Numbers 19:6). It was a crimson thread that Rahab was to bind on her window as a sign that she was to be saved alive (Joshua 2:18; 6:25) when the city of Jericho was taken.
Vermilion, the red sulphuret of mercury, or cinnabar; a colour used for drawing the figures of idols on the walls of temples (Ezek. 23:14), or for decorating the walls and beams of houses (Jeremiah 22:14).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) See Color.
Colour (22 Occurrences)
Acts 27:30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, (KJV)
Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (KJV YLT)
Genesis 30:39 And because of this, the flock gave birth to young which were marked with bands of colour. (BBE)
Leviticus 13:55 And if, after the mark has been washed, the priest sees that the colour of it is not changed and it is not increased, it is to be burned in the fire: the disease is working in it, though the damage may be inside or outside. (BBE JPS)
Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. (KJV JPS BBE YLT)
Ezekiel 1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. (KJV JPS BBE YLT)
Ezekiel 1:7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. (KJV JPS YLT)
Ezekiel 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. (KJV JPS YLT)
Ezekiel 1:22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. (KJV JPS YLT)
Ezekiel 1:27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. (KJV JPS BBE YLT)
Ezekiel 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. (KJV JPS YLT)
Ezekiel 10:9 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone. (KJV JPS BBE YLT)
Ezekiel 16:16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. (Root in KJV JPS BBE DBY)
Daniel 5:6 Then the colour went from the king's face, and he was troubled by his thoughts; strength went from his body, and his knees were shaking. (BBE)
Daniel 5:9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled and the colour went from his face, and his lords were at a loss. (BBE)
Daniel 5:10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the house of the feast: the queen made answer and said, O King, have life for ever; do not be troubled by your thoughts or let the colour go from your face: (BBE)
Daniel 7:28 Here is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, I was greatly troubled by my thoughts, and the colour went from my face: but I kept the thing in my heart. (BBE)
Daniel 10:6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. (KJV JPS BBE)
Daniel 10:8 So I was by myself, and I saw this great vision, and all my strength went from me; and the colour went from my face. (BBE)
Nahum 2:10 Everything has been taken from her, all is gone, she has nothing more: the heart is turned to water, the knees are shaking, all are twisted in pain, and colour has gone from all faces. (BBE)
Zechariah 6:3 And in the third, white horses; and in the fourth, horses of mixed colour. (BBE)
Zechariah 6:6 The carriage in which are the black horses goes in the direction of the north country; the white go to the west; and those of mixed colour go in the direction of the south country. (BBE)