Fire, Light, and Food: A List of Biblical Images for the Word of God

The Bible is full of imagery, and a lot of imagery about itself, the word(s) of God.*


One of the reasons why is because the imagery points to an invisible reality behind the words of God. They are not mere words, but there is a spiritual element to them. They are powerful and transformative. So when the author of Hebrews says “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires,” the author means that as we read the Bible it does something to us that a normal book can’t in the same way.


This is probably not an exhaustive list, but I haven’t seen any others like it. What invisible reality do you think some of the images point to?

Images that have to do with Judgement/Destruction

Fire – Jeremiah 23:29; 20:9; 5:14

Hammer – Jeremiah 23:29**

Sword – Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6: 17; Revelation 1:16; 2:16; 19:15; Hosea 6:5; Isaiah 49:2

Mirror – James 1:25

Detail shot of hammer forging hot iron at anvil

Images that have to do with Life/Growth/Riches:

Nourishing Food – Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 5:12-14; Isaiah 55:1-3; Jeremiah 3:15; 23:28;  1 Timothy 4:6

Light – Psalm 119:105, 130; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19

Honey – Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 24:13-14; Psalm 19:10

Milk – 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12-14

Water – Ephesians. 5:25b-26; John 15:3

Seed – 1 Peter 1:23; Luke 8:11

Worker’s Tool – 2 Timothy 2:15

Midwife – James 1:18

God’s Breath – 2 Timothy 3:16

Silver, Gold & Jewels – Psalm 119:72, 127; 19:10; Proverbs 8:10, 11; 3:14-15



*I’m not distinguishing between logos and rhema for the purposes of this post.

**fire and a hammer can also be used for growth – we burn forests so new growth can happen, and demolish old buildings for new.


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