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Colours in the Bible

.....and their meaning...

Bronze, Brass

and

Copper

 

The Hebrew word 'nechosheth' is translated as bronze or can have a meaning of brass, brazen or copper.  Another word is 'nechuwshah' indicating copper made from melting copper ore or bronze (made from copper and alloy). For example:

"Iron is taken from the earth, And copper is smelted from ore." Job 28:2
"And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze" Exod 25:3

Greek 'chalkolibanon' translated as  fine brass. A compound word consisting of 'chalkos' and 'libanos'.  Greek 'chalkos' conveys an idea of hollowing out as a vessel, translated as bronze, brass or money. 1Cor 13:1 'libanos' means frankincense the tree or the perfume, a white fragrant resin. For example:

"His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters" Rev 1:15

This metal is neither precious nor pure being primarily an alloy of different metals, copper and tin, but may be made with other metals such as zinc, aluminium or nickel. However good quality bronze was highly prized for its strength and durability. Bronze is also resistant to corrosion and is easy to cast into shape. The two great pillars of cast by Solomon for the Temple were made of bronze  (1Kings 7:14-22)

 

Further information

  Many items in the tabernacle and temple were made of bronze. These items were for use in the outer court, the items in the Holy and Most Holy place within the tabernacle itself were made of gold.

"You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide––the altar shall be square––and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze." Exodus 27:1-2

Thus bronze is linked with sacrifice.

Related Symbols: Sin

Bronze in scripture has a connection with sin and with forgiveness. When the Israelites complained and spoke against God and against Moses, God sent snakes into the camp which bit the people. When they sought forgiveness Moses was told to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. The person looking up in faith to the snake on the pole would live.   "So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived."  Numbers 21:9

In the new testament we see the link between this and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who said:

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:14-15
 

Related Symbols: Strength

The metal bronze is associated with armour and the trusting in human strength. For example Goliath wore a brass helmet and armour, yet was defeated by David, who trusting in God, slew Goliath with a stone.   "Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders."  1 Samuel 17:4-6
The use of bronze in the Tabernacle construction taught a lesson about the human tendency to sin and the need for redemption, through sacrifice, that is the death of human nature. Jesus overcame human nature and sin, submitting Himself in perfect service to His Father's will.   "..in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. ... .."Behold, I have come––In the volume of the book it is written of Me––To do Your will, O God.’" Hebrews 10:3-5

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