Understanding the Symbolic Nature of Genesis 1, 2 & 3! Spiritual Symbols Found in Genesis!

(Ver 1.4)  In reading and studying the Book of Genesis I have found that it is essential to look at the first 3 chapters of this book using symbolic spiritual eyeglasses which allow us to see the concealed spiritual meanings that were hidden from the surface only reading that many Christians do.  By studying the book of Genesis I have discovered that most of the subjects written about in these three chapters contain natural symbols that convey a much greater and complex spiritual truth.  The difficulty comes in rightly dividing what is natural and what is spiritual and then interpreting both of these at the same time correctly.  Clearly the book of Genesis and especially the first 3 chapters contain both real naturally created realities and people, but at the same time it contains a vast number of spiritual symbolic references that are intermixed throughout the text in almost every verse.  This makes correct Bible interpretation of Genesis infinitely more complex, especially for carnal minded Christians.

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

I put this verse in this lesson to show you how important rightly dividing the Bible is to correct interpretations.  Here God says there are many who teach things in the Bible that are just from man’s own wisdom.  You can still find this in churches and on the internet everywhere.  But, God says there is a better way, let the Holy Ghost teach you spiritual things and then compare these spiritual things with other spiritual things. Most Bible scholars would certainly agree that this complexity is repeated in other books of the Bible like the prophets and especially the Book of Revelation.  Revelation is dominated by symbolic references throughout the entire book and it is widely one of the most controversial books with the most widely dispersed interpretations surrounding it.  So symbolism is an added layer of complexity that makes understanding these Bible books with it, much more difficult to comprehend and to understand correctly.  For example when God mixes natural fruit with symbolic spiritual fruit in the same chapter this forces us to see what is being discussed by the context and then to use the rest of the Bible to help us interpret the meanings of the spiritual side of the information given.  This is called “Comparing Spiritual Things with Spiritual Things” and “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” and we are required to see it correctly or we will remain hopelessly confused.  We must therefore, choose to rightly divide the Word of God deciphering or decoding every word between the spiritual definition and the physical definition or we will wrongly divide it and make them all spiritual or all physical references.  To make them all spiritual or all natural, we would get most of our interpretations wrong when doing this.  So God did this all by a grand design.  God purposely hid complex information in the Bible to keep it from Satan and to allow Him to reveal it to us His church in His perfect time.  It is the designed process that I call “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight”.   So in today’s blog I am going to focus on the symbols recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis and give you a list of the most important ones that I have found.  Here is the List of Symbols in Genesis 1, 2 & 3:

Symbol

Description

Chapter Verse Reference

Adam A real man, but also a symbolic representation of the man Jesus Christ Genesis 2:18-26Romans 5:14
Afraid The symbolic spiritual force of the fear of the consequences of sin and death Genesis 3:10Heb 2:15;
Ashamed, Not Symbolic Spiritual Innocence Genesis 2:25; 1 John 2:28
Cleave The symbolic covenant of marriage between Christ and the church to be JOINED! Genesis 2:24; 1 Cor 6:17
Darkness The spiritual kingdom domain of Satan and those in it Genesis 1:2; Rom 2:19
Day Those in the Kingdom of God where the Sun of Righteousness has arisen Genesis 1:5;  Malachi 4:21 Th 5:5;
Day The days of creation were symbolic 1000 years of the history of Man Genesis 1:5, Genesis 1:8, Genesis 1:13; Genesis 1:19; Genesis 1:23; Genesis 1:31; Genesis 2:2; 2 Peter 3:8
Divided Symbolic separation of spiritual beings Genesis 1:4; 1:7; Luke 12:51
Dust The Symbolic Spiritual ground and the possession of man for 7000 years (7 days) Genesis 2:7; 3:14; 3:19;
East The Symbolic direction of the rising Spiritual Sun Genesis 2:14; 3:24; Mat 24:27;
Eat Spiritual enlightenment and understanding either of good or of evil Genesis 3:6; 3:11-19; 3:22; John 6:51
Firmament A spiritual division or separation, an expanse or spiritual dimension as a partition.  Above the firmament is heaven the throne of God.  Below the firmament is the future expanse of Satan’s domain.  The air realm represents man’s current position and where Satan currently resides. Genesis 1:7;
Flesh, One The symbolic covenant of marriage between Christ and the church Genesis 2:24
Fourth Day, the The 4000 year appointed time of the coming of Christ into the world Genesis 1:19
Fruit That which is produced by a Spiritual Tree either good or evil Genesis 3:2, 3, 6; James 5:7
Garden The heart of man, the symbolic soil of the earth where God plants His seeds to grow spiritual fruit Genesis 2:8; 3:2; 3:10
Greater Light, the (Sun) The symbolic Jesus, the ruler of the spiritual day Kingdom of Light Genesis 1:16; Mal 4:2
Hand Symbolic Spiritual Power Genesis 3:22
Lesser Light, the (Moon) Satan the ruler of the darkness of this world; the Prince of the Kingdom of Darkness Genesis 1:16; Eph 6:12
Light The God of Creation, God is Light Genesis 1:3; 1 John 1:5
Meat The symbolic food of a spiritually mature man Genesis 1:29-30; Heb 5:12
Naked The External Shame of Sin also the unclothed spirit of man Genesis 3:10; 2 Cor 5:3
Night Those in the spiritual darkness, who stumble and sleep and get drunk in the world; kingdom of Satan Genesis 1:5; 1:14; 1:16; 1:18; 1 Th 5:7
Rain The symbolic outpouring of the Spirit of God, the former and the later Genesis 2:5; James 5:7
Sea(s) Peoples/Nations of the earth Genesis 1:10; Rev 17:15;
Second Day, the The Covenant of Abraham to separate God’s people from the other people on the earth Genesis 1:8;
Seed The symbolic representation of children, words, and several other types of spiritual things Genesis 1:11-12; 3:15;
Serpent, the Satan the spiritual ruler of the darkness, the deceiver of the nations Genesis 3:1; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2
Seventh Day, the The Millennial Reign of Christ; God’s symbolic Day of Rest Genesis 2:2; Heb 4:4Rev 20:6;
Sixth Day, the End of the The prophetic coming into maturity of the church of God before His return. Genesis 1:26
Skin The outward clothes of the spirit of man; God later removes this with the circumcision of the heart Genesis 3:21; Rom 2:29
Third Day, the God starts planting seeds and expecting fruit to grow in His garden; Moses given the Law Genesis 1:12
Thorns and Thistles The Weeds of the Enemy Satan Genesis 3:18
Tree(s) Any man who makes a choice to either produce good fruit or evil fruit Genesis 2:9; 3:8
Tree of Life Those men who have chosen to receive the Word of God and produce fruit unto righteousness Genesis 2:9; 3:24
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Those men who have seen good but chosen evil Genesis 2:9, 3:11;
Waters Symbolic people, the voice of many waters Genesis 1:6; Rev 17:15;
Way, the Symbolic Spiritual Path to Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom from God Genesis 3:24
Woman The symbolic type of the Church who was taken out of Christ Genesis 2:22-23; 3:15; Eph 5:32

These are certainly not every symbolic reference in these three chapters of Genesis; these are just the ones that I have seen and feel are important to know.  You of course are welcome to look for others and if you find them please let me know so that I can add them to the list.  I will certainly confirm that I do not know everything and I like to learn new things.  God teaches me new things almost every day and it is very exciting when He does this.  I pray this list will be a helpful tool in your study of the Bible and specifically the book of Genesis.  God Bless!

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About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on November 15, 2010, in Bible Study, Genesis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Thank you!!

  2. I too have been seeing the relation between the creation account and history. It also seems to be done in the first 700 years of Israel’s history.

  3. I have had a revelation of this in the past six months and eventually have found other people who had before me, salute!

  4. Nice research about genesis I’m also working out,if I got some imma let u know may God bless u

  5. i truly enjoyed reading all these symbols from the book of genesis.wow,i never thought they were so many.surely the truth was hidden in plain sight…i never saw any of these!

  6. Sebastian Michaelis

    I have been appointed to study Genesis for school and can’t really see what is so hard to understand in the first few chapters in Genesis. I had a religious upbringing but never really studied the Bible before. I believe that people make the mistake of reading Genesis too spiritually and fail to see all of the rich literary elements that can be found in it. Nevertheless, this article has helped me clear up a few things. Thank you.

  7. I like your ideas but I believe that the moon represents the church since it was created on the same day and reflects the light of the Sun when he isn’t with us. But still very helpful.

    • Thanks for you time and comments. I have heard more than one preacher try to say the church is the representative type of the moon symbol. But this really is not confirmed with scripture anywhere. The moon is repeatedly called the ruler of the darkness (Gen 1:16, Ps 136:9). Darkness is always the absense of light. God is defined to be Light. Therefore the people in the darkness have not GOD! That is not ME! The Bible said we were in darkness but now have seen a great light (Mat 4:16). Paul wrote to the church said :1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. So if the church is no longer in the darkness we cannot be the moon. There are many other scriptures that cofirm this. I have several Bible lessons on this subject if you are interested in learning more about light and darkness the two opposing kingdoms of God and Satan respectively.

  8. These past few days, my eyes were opened, to spiritual symbolism in genesis. What you have written, and shared, Is deeply apreciated.For Spiritual understanding, is the true riches, that moth’s can’t destroy, and people can’t steal. thank you my friend, for sharing these Treasures. GOD Bless.

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