After my last post, a good friend astutely pointed something out to me that I totally missed. My friend had been studying Rahab in the book of Joshua and connected the scarlet cord that Rahab hung in her window to my red dye story.
Of course! Rahab’s cord was scarlet (coccus ilicis, a.k.a. kermes vermilio, a.k.a. scarlet worm). It wasn’t blue or orange or green. Rahab’s salvation was ensured by a string dyed red, thanks to a bug that gave its life on a tree.
Rahab’s crimson cord
is part of a
that is woven
throughout the Bible.
A quick word search revealed that all the curtains in the tabernacle were indeed a tapestry woven of blue, purple and scarlet yarn.
Same word. Same bug.
The tri-colored curtains that hung in the doorway of the tabernacle served as a visual reminder of the blood that would one day be shed on a tree for the salvation of the world. God is in the details. How like Him to use something as insignificant as a bug to foreshadow the gospel.
This scarlet color even makes the jump into the New Testament.
“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
and then wove a crown of thorns and set it on his head.”
Of course it was a scarlet robe! It wasn’t blue or orange or green. (Although Mark and John call it a purple robe, so maybe a deep-purplish-red?) Matthew, in writing for a Jewish audience, made a choice to use the word that would bring the Hebrew readers back to Isaiah 1:18.
God tells the redemption story even through His colorful creation.