My Favorite color, Purple

God created all the colors we have and I personally always loved purple. I know from many of my friends that ladies love purple. It is beautiful, welcoming and has a richness about it.  The color purple is significant in the Bible and shows up a surprising number of times. Hope you enjoy this journey into the color purple and some of its references.

In our country, since 1792, the highest military award a person can receive is the Purple Heart. It denotes courage and valor under intense trial. It is the oldest military award still being given. A distant relative of mine received the purple heart after his death due to his courageous actions in WWII. His body remains behind in Carthage.

The color purple represents influence and grandeur. It makes sense that in Jesus’ last hours before His death, He wore purple. I know no one more influential than our Lord to this very day!

Purple dye was more valuable than gold during this time.

Purple dye was very hard to get in ancient times. Tyrian and Phoenician purple came from a small snail by the sea called a murex. This extraction was very stinky while making the dye. I love the thought of the Lord taking something small, smelly, and seemingly insignificant and making something amazing from it.

According to a Roman edict issued in 301 AD, Tyrian purple was worth more than three times its weight in gold. Do you realize that this is a lost art? No one knows how to make this exquisite dye today.

This process of creating the dye is why it was so expensive to have purple cloth. Only the royals and wealthy could own this cloth. Julius Caesar even made a decree that no one else was allowed to wear purple except himself.

When God gave instructions for the tabernacle, we see the color purple again. “You shall also make a veil of violet, purple, and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen; …bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve as a partition for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.” Then, God said to make the High Priest’s ephod with purple cloth as well as red and blue. Interesting fact: There is no purple light, it is formed when red light and blue light wavelengths intersect.

This beautiful veil of red, purple, and blue, was torn from top to bottom when Jesus Christ the Lord died.

Matthew 27:50-51

In Judges 8:26, we learn about Gideon rescuing God’s people from the Midianites. The people gave gold to Gideon, and they also gave him purple robes which were on the kings of Midian. Here we see the connection between the color purple and great wealth.

Women and the color of purple

The praiseworthy woman of Prov. 31 wears clothing of fine linen and purple. Isn’t that interesting?  She wears purple, and her husband is known and respected at the city gates. This respect is partially due to his wife.  Definitely makes you think about how we live and dress as a woman.

We can learn about Lydia from Thyatira who was a worshipper of God, and she was a seller of purple cloth. Acts 16:14. A wealthy woman that took time for a relationship with God.

King Solomon had a litter made for himself by the women of the city – “its posts of silver, its back of gold. And its seat of purple fabric, With its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Songs 3:9, 10).

The color purple and royalty

King Xerxes of Susa had curtains made of purple linen in his palace garden. This is where the beloved Queen Esther would dwell. It was a generous gift after Daniel told the King the meaning of the handwriting on the wall, “Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they clothed Daniel with purple”. (Dan. 5:29)

Unfortunately, the purple robe placed on Jesus was a means to insult and mock our Lord, but we see Him for who He truly is, King of all Kings. No one is more deserving to wear the color purple. “And then Pilate came out again and said to them, ‘See, I am bringing Him out to you so that you will know that I find no grounds at all for charges in His case.’ Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man”. (John 19:4,5)

No one is more deserving to wear the color purple than our Lord. He is truly the King of All Kings

The Emperor’s children were born in purple rooms due to their status. Elizabeth I, was dressed in purple at her coronation banquet in 1559, and her coffin was draped in purple velvet in 1603. You can even visit the “Purple Forbidden City” in Vietnam.

The Purple Forbidden City in Vietnam

Today, March 26th is Purple Day to recognize all our friends that suffer from epilepsy.  Send them a message that you care.

purple day ribbon for epilepsy awareness

Hopefully the next time you see something purple you will recognize its significance. As we approach the time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, remember how this beautiful color played a part in His story of redemption.

One Comment

  1. That is fun to think of all the ways that purple is used in a special way. I too really enjoy the color purple.

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