Symbols Of Water In The Bible

While the Bible is a terrific story and an incredible look at the human condition, it’s also a collection of symbols. Most of us have never thought about the whole message behind some of those symbols, but if you thought about the Book of Ruth, for example, and what was truly taking place we can realize that there are numerous symbology’s found within their text. In this article, you’ll see how to interpret symbol meanings in the Bible.

Water is a symbol of resurrection, cleansing and new life. Not only is it abundant and necessary to sustain human life, but water symbolism also permeates ancient texts as well as modern ones. In the Bible, water played a significant role in bringing life and maintaining it.

Water is a symbol of the holy spirit and rebirth and life. This month was actually dedicated to water by the Catholic Church in honor of the Baptism of Jesus Christ. So, today we are going to talk about some spiritual symbols of water and how they relate to baptism.

Water is one of the main elements on Earth. It’s also an essential component in the Bible. Many of the events that take place in the Bible are affected or caused by water, from floods to a manna from heaven that falls as a heavy rain. It is also used in a variety of symbols and figures of speech, for instance; it represents the Spirit, resurrection and living water.

Symbols Of Water In The Bible

The word “water” is used in a variety of metaphorical ways in Scripture. It is used to symbolize the troublesome times in life that can and do come to human beings, especially God’s children ( Psalm 32:6 ; Psalms 69:1 Psalms 69:2 Psalms 69:14 Psalms 69:15 ; Isa 43:2 ; Lam 3:54 ). In some contexts water stands for enemies who can attack and need to be overcome ( 2 Sam 22:17-18 ; Psalm 18:16-17 ; 124:4-5 ; 144:7 ; Isa 8:7 ; Jer 47:2 ). In both the Old and New Testaments, the word “water” is used for salvation and eternal life, which God offers humankind through faith in his Son ( Isa 12:3 ; 55:1 ; Rev 21:6 ; Revelation 22:1 Revelation 22:2 Revelation 22:17 ). In John 4:10-15, part of Jesus’ discourse with the Samaritan woman at the well, he speaks metaphorically of his salvation as “living water” and as “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Following along this same theme, water sometimes symbolizes the spiritual cleansing that comes with the acceptance of God’s offer of salvation ( Ezek 36:25 ; Eph 5:26 ; Heb 10:22 ). In fact, in Ephesians 5:26, the “water” that does the cleansing of the bride, the church, is directly tied in with God’s Word, of which it is a symbol.

In a very important passage, Jesus identifies the “streams of living water” that flow from within those who believe in him with the Holy Spirit ( John 7:37-39 ). The reception of the Holy Spirit is clearly the special reception that was going to come after Jesus had been glorified at the Father’s right hand and happened on the Day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2. Two times in Jeremiah Yahweh is metaphorically identified as “the spring of living water” ( Jer 2:13 ; 17:13 ). In both instances Israel is rebuked for having forsaken the Lord for other cisterns that could in no way satisfy their “thirst.”

Symbols Of Water In The Bible

1. Water Symbolizes the Reception of the Holy Spirit

Water signifies the reception of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Ezekiel compared the Spirit of God with the cleansing of the heart.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV).

Water is seen as symbol of the Spirit of God coming into a person’s life and cleansing their heart from sin.

2. The Pouring of Water at the Feast of Tabernacles

At the Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, the priest would pour water next to the altar as the final ritual of this feast. This event looked forward to the time the Messiah would come. Zechariah wrote of that great day when Messiah would come.

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16 NIV).

Thus, the water symbolized the day of the Messiah, the Deliverer. We find this same truth taught in the New Testament. It is in this context, at the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths, that Jesus spoke of “living water.” We read of the following event in the life of Jesus.

On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, “If you are thirsty, come to me and drink! Have faith in me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, just as the Scriptures say.” Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given his full glory (John 7:37-39 CEV).

Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of the Messianic hope of the people. The Holy Spirit would be the evidence in the lives of believers that His claims were true. Out of their innermost being would come rivers or torrents of living or life-giving water. This was Jesus’ prediction of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus Gives Life-giving Water to Those Who Believe

Jesus told a woman in Samaria that He is the One who gives living water to those who have a spiritual thirst. We read.

But those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14 TNIV).

Water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit here represents eternal life.

4. He Gives the Water of Life

The Bible speaks of the water of life.

Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life (Revelation 21:6 NRSV).

This water brings life. John also wrote.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free! (Revelation 22:17 CEV).

Jesus offers the water of life. Again, the Holy Spirit represents that life-giving water that quenches our spiritual thirst.

5. Water Is Symbolic of Satisfaction and Prosperity

In the Bible, we find that water signifies such things as satisfaction and prosperity. The psalmist wrote.

May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains—like the showers that water the earth (Psalm 72:6 NLT).

Since the rains were absolutely necessary for the survival of those people, they represented prosperity and satisfaction. Indeed, without the rains the people would have neither.

In the same manner, without the Spirit of God none of us can have spiritual satisfaction.

Isaiah the prophet records the Lord saying of how He will bring water to the barren places of the desert.

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs (Isaiah 41:18 NIV).

This again testifies to the value of water. The Lord also said.

I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands Isaiah 43:19 CEV).

Water is thus a fitting symbol for the person and work of the Holy Spirit. For only with Him, can one achieve satisfaction and prosperity in this life. Therefore from Scripture we find that water has a number of important symbolic meanings for the believer. Indeed, it is a wonderful symbol of the work of the Spirit of God in the lives of His people.

Leave a Reply