Darkness and Light in the Bible

Light is good and dark is bad. White is virtuous and black is evil. These metaphorical concepts are basic to human understanding and communication. Edwards notes that the sum of all beautiful colors is white, which is emblematic of, “the various beauties and graces of the Spirit of God…so often represented in Scripture” (“Image” no. 58).

This typological communication is seen in the rainbow, the precious stones in the high priest’s breastplate, Solomon’s temple, the gates and foundation of the Heavenly City, and many other places.

The opposites, dark and black, find equal typological representation among things that naturally cause revulsion and horror: Black ravens feeding on carrion, corpses rotting in dark graves, dangerous creatures that prowl at night, and the outer darkness of hell.

Light and color are emblematic of the Spirit of God and beautiful order. Darkness denotes confusion and chaos. God’s creation has a voice that can be understood if humanity would turn to God and worship him (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:18-21).