Darkness (Hebrew: חֹֽשֶׁךְ, ḥōšeḵ, meaning "the dark"; Greek: σκότος, skotos, meaning "darkness") is the absence of light. Darkness is used as a symbol of ignorance and spiritual blindness. Mankind has long associates darkness with danger and evil. It is also a metaphor for the place of everlasting punishment.
Darkness is specially noted on three occasions in the scriptures:
- At the period of creation. (Genesis 1:2-4 )
- The plague of darkness in Egypt. (Exodus 10:21 )
- The darkness at the hour of crucifixion. (Matthew 27:45 )
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3 (KJV)
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 (KJV)
The plague of darkness in Egypt
- Main article: Egyptian plagues
Egypt was plunged into a darkness lasting three days (a recurrent motif in the Bible symbolic of the time that Jesus Christ would lie dead before His Resurrection). This was a slam against the king of Egyptian gods, called Ra or Re or Amun-Re.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. Exodus 10:21
Darkness at the crucifixion
The supernatural darkness that was reported in the crucifixion of Jesus was not a metaphor. Actually it was a real historical event based on eyewitness accounts and independently corroborated by multiple highly skilled ancient historians. Three evangelists, one of them an eyewitness to the event (Matthew), recorded the period of darkness that occurred from the sixth hour until the ninth hour:
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45 (KJV)
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33 (KJV)
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. Luke 23:44-45 (KJV)
Other Bible records
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Mattew 6:22-23 (NIV)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1John 1:5 (KJV)
Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 1Proverbs 2:13 (KJV)
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. 1Proverbs 4:19 (KJV)
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)
- Unger, Merrill F (1988). Harrison, R. K.. ed. The New Unger´s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press. pp. 279-280. ISBN 0-8024-9037-9.
- Douglas, J.D.; Tenney, Merril C, ed. (1987). The New International Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 255. ISBN 0-310-33190-0.
- Exodus 11:1-10
- Gundry, Robert H. (2003). A Survey of the New Testament (4th ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-310-23825-6.
- "Darkness at the crucifixion: metaphor or real history?". April 6, 2007. http://creation.com/darkness-at-the-crucifixion-metaphor-or-real-history. Retrieved March 15, 2014.