Combustion giving off light, flame, and heat. Besides normal domestic uses (cooking, heating, lighting), it was used in the refining of metals, in various crafts, in the waging of war, and in sending messages. A perpetual fire burned in the Temple, and fire was used for both sacrifices and burning incense. Fire is also a common symbol of holiness and in some cases of protection (Zech 2:5
). It represents divine action, such that God is presented as “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29
; Deut 4:24
). God’s appearance for covenant with Abraham (Gen 15:17
), the appearance in the burning bush (Exod 3:2
), the leading of Israel with the pillar of fire by night (Exod 13:21-22
), and the appearance in fire on Mt. Sinai (Exod 19:18
) are central elements in Israel’s faith. Fire is God’s servant (Ps 104:4
; Heb 1:7
), and God’s word is like fire (Jer 23:29
). In reference to God’s action, fire is most frequently a symbol of destruction associated with the wrath of God and his jealousy. As a metaphor of God’s holiness, however, it may also purge or purify. The Babylonian exile is described as purification by fire (Ps 66:12
; Isa 43:2
), and certainly the Day of the Lord will purify Israel (Zech 13:9
; 1Cor 3:13-15
5For I will be a wall of fire all around it, says the Lord, and I will be the glory within it.”
29for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
24For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.
17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.
21The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they mig ... View more
18Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain sho ... View more
4you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
7Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
29Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
12you let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, ... View more
9And I will put this third into the fire,
refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
and I will answer them. ... View more
13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work ea ... View more